South Boston News & Record
and Mecklenburg Sun
03/22/17 - 6:30 am
Supervisors push back at $20 million request for outdated buildings
03/22/17 - 6:28 am
Tommy Brankley, ED-8 rep, dies at 85
03/22/17 - 6:06 am
Test scores no longer enough for approval
03/23/17 - 5:24 am
- More A&E
About Halifax Elementary
SoVaNow.com / February 25, 2016
REDEVELOPMENT OF HALIFAX ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
I relocated from the UK to Halifax in 2013 and now live on Mountain Road, where I have established a Bed and Breakfast. I am probably the nearest resident to the redevelopment, my property lying directly across from the School .
When I bought my home, I did have a slight reservation as to whether I was doing the right thing as the School had been vacant for some time. Fortunately it is situated in a beautiful Historic area where there is very little or no vandalism whatsoever. However, these buildings soon become neglected and fall into decay. I had visions of this happening on Mountain Road.
At first, I was delighted when I heard of this development and was anxious to see the Echelon Redevelopment Proposal. In part I found the Proposal in some ways quite acceptable but after much thought, I realized that this is really a “make a quick buck, sell off as quickly as possible and to heck with the consequences for the local residents” proposal. I worked for many years for a Development Corporation in Wales which covered lots of beautiful areas such as Halifax and saw many developments similar to what we are looking at here. So many of them after a short time were sold off by the Developers, often to companies who falsely promised (although some did intend) to keep up their properties to a high standard but often didn’t have the money required to so. Then everything started to go downhill. They started letting the buildings go into disrepair, then dropped their rents, etc.
Jack Dunavant is a staunch supporter of Halifax and the surrounding areas. He has always hoped that Halifax/South Boston area would remain a home for families to be proud of and somewhere people can settle from other parts of the country and afford a good standard of living. Jack is not interested in making a pile of money but instead he wants to help preserve the beautiful Historic area we have here. I have lived in many wonderful places in the UK but it is hard to beat where we live in this piece of heaven we live in.
Since I’ve lived in this area, we have strived to bring in jobs. It is a HubZone and as we all know, we have high unemployment. It has been an uphill struggle. I think it would be the worst thing to happen if we were to support an outside Company who will bring in architects, surveyors, builders, etc when we have our own wealth of great local businesses and workers who are more than able to satisfy the needs to redevelop the Elementary School.
I am a somewhat newcomer to the area so I don’t know the way Local Council works so please forgive me if I have it wrong. I was a little surprised when it was said at the meeting last week that the Town Council did not think it was correct or thought that they should not support one party above the other – in other words Echelon or Jack Dunavant. I have always thought that Town Councils are there to support local businesses and residents thus giving them the opportunity to make better towns to live in. This is a great opportunity for the area. I thought that you would have jumped at supporting the local people who could be involved with this redevelopment.
I missed the first meeting when Echelon set out the proposal but I did attend the meetings at the Mary Bethune School and the Town Hall. I did notice at those two meetings, there was a very strong support for Jack Dunavant but little or no support for Echelon. Shouldn’t we be listening to the locals. After all, what are the benefits of the Echelon Proposal to the Town of Halifax. Maybe I am missing something, if so, please tell me.
The Rebecca Rolfe House