Cave Spring Elementary School

Cave Spring Elementary School, 13 Rome Road, Cave Spring.

A deed between the Floyd County school system and the Cave Spring Board of Trustees has sparked a new debate on what to do with the Cave Spring Elementary School building.

The school will be closed at the end of this school year due to the school system’s surplus of buildings compared to their student population.

The announcement met with a backlash from the community which felt the elementary school was the heart of the town. Still, back in January, the Floyd County Board of Education voted to close both Cave Spring and Glenwood Primary School in Armuchee.

Since then, the school board has been working with the Cave Spring City Council to make sure whoever takes over the property has the community’s interests in mind.

More recently, a former deed from almost 100-years-ago was found and introduced into the debate.

When the elementary school was purchased by the county school system in 1929, a clause included in that agreement stated if the county school system ever used the property for other than school purposes, the ownership would revert back to the Trustees of the Cave Spring Consolidated School District.

However, that school district was dissolved sometime in the 1930s. The Floyd County School System’s attorney King Askew said the issue was null and void at the previous school board meeting.

Still, Cave Spring community members are pressing that point. Their contention is that the city floated the bonds that paid for the school.

“So the argument is that it should go back to the city instead of being sold by the school board,” Cave Spring City Council member Joyce Mink said.

Right now, the school board is considering two parties who are interested in the property: the Cave Spring Community Coalition and the Cave Spring Housing Authority.

The Cave Spring Community Coalition was formed in the wake of the school board’s announcement it would look at selling the school. The group wants to see the building converted into a community center for residents, with an emphasis on serving students and senior citizens.

Judy Taylor has been working on grants and meeting with organizations in the community that would be interested in providing services at the center, including the Rome Boys & Girls Club.

The coalition has also been circulating a petition for their cause throughout Cave Spring and has received many signatures of support from members of the community.

Still, some Cave Spring community members argued that the school system should still abide by the intent and turn it over to the Cave Spring City Council.

Taylor said they hope the school board would consider giving the property back to the council, similar to the deed.

On the other hand, the Cave Spring Housing Authority is also looking at the property and already has a rendering of what they want to do with the building over the next five years.

According to Betty Sue Hickman, the housing authority’s director, they have 116 families on their waiting list for housing and it would bring business to local shops and restaurants in the community.

The school board hasn’t decided who to sell the property to and is considering auctioning the building.

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