Signs are pointing towards a rebirth for Tyrone Elementary as the Board of Education plans ahead to accommodate population growth.
The board voted to close the school, among others, in 2013 amid a massive budget crunch, but it could see new life in the future, and the planned expansion of the sewer system in Tyrone represents a big boost to the cause.
Last week, the Town of Tyrone approved moving forward with the design and implementation of extending the sewer into the downtown area near the school. While the school board would encounter some costs to connect the school to the sewer, it represents a significant aid to the prospects of reopening the school.
“The real critical issue with the closure of that school that we had to deal with was the fact that the septic systems were failing,” said Superintendent Dr. Jody Barrow, noting that the school had two septic systems, with one that completely failed and the other on its last leg. “With the sewer coming to Tyrone, that certainly gives the board an opportunity to consider the possibility of renovating that site and connecting it to the sewer and then being able to possible reopen the school in the future.”
In a letter to the school board, Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial said the goal is to complete the sewer expansion in August 2020, which would coincide with the completion of their new municipal complex.
“I know that Tyrone is excited about the possibility,” said Barrow.
When it was closed, the school served about 400 students, and Director of Facilities Mike Satterfield noted that the school system was losing money operating it at that level. If it returns, it would be at a capacity of 675 to 680 students.
Currently, the school building is leased for use by multiple groups.
Tyrone Elementary’s future will be more clear next month when the Board of Education is expected to vote on a direction for J.C. Booth Middle School, which would also affect plans for an estimated increase in elementary school-age students.