The Central School Board on Monday agreed to continue demolishing buildings at the former Central Middle School and next month awaits recommendation from a consultant for what to do with the mostly cleared 28 acres at the intersection of Sullivan and Hooper roads.
The only buildings left at that location will be the football stadium and an industrial arts building being used by Central schools’ information technology department. The newly authorized demolition, which was approved unanimously and with little discussion, will remove an L-shaped administrative building. It follows the tearing down in the fall of an old girls gym, which was built in 1927 and which a local citizens group fought unsuccessfully to save.
CSRS Consultants of Baton Rouge has been hired to come up with recommendations for what to do with that property and plans to present its ideas on Feb. 24 when a special committee created to consider this issue meets again. At that committee’s Jan. 19 meeting, CSRS representative Chris Ferrari said he has gathered a lot of information on the property’s infrastructure, retail possibilities, past development research, work the mayor of Central has done and demographic data within three miles of the site.
In other action Monday, the Central School Board agreed to spend almost $75,000 to plug two abandoned oil wells at the former Greenwell Springs mental hospital, which is in the process of being demolished and dates to the 1930s. In spring 2014, the school system entered into an agreement with the state to take over the property for five years.
School officials are considering the property as a possible future home for Central High School.
The old hospital, located just north of the intersection of Hooper and Greenwell Springs roads along the banks of the Amite River, already had two wells that needed to be plugged, but two more have since been discovered. ARC Abatement of Tickfaw, which is overseeing the work, is planning to plug all four wells at once.