City asked to consider plan for old schools

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck, Editor

As the Levy County School Board moves ahead with its plans to construct a new middle/high school in Williston, the city council is faced with offering up plans for the old schools when, and if, construction commences.
Tuesday night, Jeff Edison and Robert Philpot appeared before Williston City Council with an update on the process the school board is going through to get a new school.
Edison said school board representatives will meet with the state Department of Education officials Oct. 30 as they plan to apply for funding from special facillities funding.
Should Levy County qualify, about $50 million will be spend on a school that will be home to 1,000 students.
If that all comes to fruition, the current schools will be vacant and Edison asked the council to consider how they may be best utilized.
Ideas bandied about by council members included a community center and a vocational/technical school or working with the Chamber of Commerce to market and recruit new tenants for the buildings.
Edison said a plan for the vacant facilities will need to be in place within the next year.
Three parcels of property are being considered by the school board for the location of the new school, Edison said, but because negotiations are ongoing, could not disclose specifics.
Philpot encouraged the council, and the community, to become excited about the possibility of a new school and what it could mean to Williston.
“This is not a guarantee,” Philpot said, about securing the funding, “but we  have to get excited for our kids and the city and what this new school could attract to Williston.”
Edison said it is the superintendent’s goal that this year’s ninth graders will walk out of the new school.