What now for old school sites

Now that two iconic Pauls Valley schools have been demolished and the building rubble taken away local school officials are pondering what do with those sites now.

Sell the two properties, trade them for some city-owned ball fields, who knows what’s next for the properties that for decades were the home for local children attending Jefferson and Jackson elementary schools.

“They are done; everything is cleaned up,” Superintendent Mike Martin told all five school board members during a regular meeting last week.

“It wasn’t ideal but it’s done and it was a heck of a deal,” he said about the demolition work, which started late in 2021.

Both Jefferson and Jackson schools were built in 1940 but left unused with the opening of the new Pauls Valley Elementary School in March 2021. The new school houses prekindergarten through the third grade.

Estimates place the values of the properties at between $50,000 and $60,000 for the Jefferson site and up to $100,000 for the Jackson location.

“Do you want to make some form of an offer of trading the property for the softball and baseball fields?”

Martin is referring to two of the three ball fields in Wacker Park. The third is a youth league ball field.

“We have already seen some resistance of a trade. I have worked hard on this for a while and have gotten nowhere,” Martin said.

“I said we would make all the guarantees to the city for youth play on those fields. We can do basic maintenance out there but we can’t do any capital improvements because that land is not ours.”

“It doesn’t mean they can’t have access to those fields,” school board member Jesse Alvarado said about the city of Pauls Valley.

“But there are those who believe this wouldn’t be the right move.”

The next step appears to be Martin going to the city to continue the school’s offer of making the property swap.

Another option for the school board is to simply sell the various lots on the now cleaned up properties where the old schools once stood.

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