Anderson Co. board will pursue selling deteriorating old school house on high school campus to nonprofit preservation group in hopes of saving the building

Anderson News, Lawrenceburg, April 12, 2017

School board takes step to preserve old school house

By Brittany Fuller

The future and fate of the Glensboro School House was the topic of conversation at Monday night’s school board meeting. The schoolhouse, which sits on the Anderson County High School campus, was restored in the 1990s, and moved to its current location with a plan to use the schoolhouse for school clubs, group meetings and other activities; however, the schoolhouse is in need of repair.

Eric Whisman, from the Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation, presented a proposal to the school board that would allow him to purchase the building and make it a viable structure for the community once again.

“We have been in conversation for a while, and we have been interested all the while,” said Whisman. “My organization is a non-profit and we work to match people and places.”

Whisman’s company would need to purchase the schoolhouse from the school board, giving him ownership for a set period of time while he works to find the right person for the building, or while he raises the funds to move the building. He said the focus of his company is to make sure that historic
buildings never deteriorate or become an eyesore, and that they are held to a certain standard.

Whisman said that his company has worked on a number of projects around Lawrenceburg.

“The history of the property is a major component, but continued use and functionality is one of the biggest focuses,” said Whisman.

School board members Roger McDowell and Scott Luna said they agreed that giving Whisman ownership of the property for a set period of time could not be beneficial, as it would tie up the property and would not allow for another viable option if one presented itself.

“We have been dealing with this for a long time,” said McDowell. “I do not want it tied up for another year.”

Whisman said that he would not be a barrier. If there were another solution that presented itself, he would be happy to step out of the way.

“I would love for you to take this property off of our hands tomorrow,” said Luna. “But in the end (there) is the position on the property and the condition. The roof is falling in, there is a large swimming pool on the inside, the electrical is probably off. There is exposed wiring. To me it is a hazard for our high school. I push for us to move forward with this disposal of this building.”

Whisman informed the school board that all contracts are negotiable. There are legal parameters that his company has to follow, and some legal hoops that they would need to go through. He also understands there is a tight time frame, and that there is a wish to get the building moved this summer
while school is not in session. He offered the school board the option to take a proposal back to his company for final approval in order to come up with the best option so he can move forward on the project.

McDowell said he would be willing to give Whisman an option as long as there was a way out of the contract for either party. He proposed a six month contract, with a 14 day clause to allow either party to terminate.

Whisman advised he would need to get full approval from his company, but that he did not foresee this being a problem.

“I think there is a future for it,” said Whisman. “You should see some of the (other) properties I am working with right now.”

The board decided that in the event that Whisman is unsuccessful, they would need to propose a second option of having the Glensboro School House destroyed and hauled off the Anderson County High School campus.

This was passed with a unanimous vote, and will be added to the future agenda.

Although, in the end the school board voted unanimously in favor of moving forward with the Kentucky
Trust for Historic Preservation and allowing Whisman the opportunity to try and find the right home for this historic building.

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