EASLEY—Several Easley representatives are not happy with a recent school board decision to scratch plans for a second middle school, and they made it known on Monday night.
Consideration is underway for a separate Easley school district.
Easley City Councilmembers, along with Easley Mayor Larry Bagwell voiced their displeasure at Monday night’s monthly meeting.
“We’ve just been left out,” Bagwell said. “There’s no way of getting around it.” Bagwell said he hopes the city can ban together and think of a solution. “You never know what could happen,” Bagwell said. “We’ve got some wheels turning with maybe the possibility of creating our own school district. I know this has been brought to the public before, but in my time, this is the most serious I can ever remember the people of Easley and the people surrounding Easley (being).”
The original building project plan included a renovation of the old Easley High School (Brice Middle) and Gettys Middle School, both of which would have been middle schools.
After having to pour more money into renovations to the old high school, however, the board voted to move all students from Gettys Middle to Brice Middle and cancel renovations to Gettys.
“I am disappointed in our school board’s decision two weeks ago,” Councilmember Brian Garrison said. “Whether you were for two schools or not is really irrelevant in my mind. It was passed and the money was appropriated. Every other school in our county was built to the plan, and in the eleventh hour they take Easley’s school away.”
“Frankly, the school district just quit on us,” Garrison said.
Garrison said he believes the project was mismanaged, and that Easley paid the price.
“Whether it was because of mismanagement of the plan or mismanagement of the money, I’m not sure,” Garrison said. “But, every Easley citizen, every grandparent, parent or anybody who cares about this city should be outraged.”
Bagwell was dissatisfied with the decision as well.
“It’s awful to think that it has gotten to this point,” Bagwell said. “We have the largest city in the county with probably the highest percentage of tax dollars for the city. By no means (are we pushing for something) against the other cities. We’re proud that they got what they wanted, (but) we’re upset we didn’t get what we were promised.”
A meeting to discuss the issue, organized by Easley residents, has been scheduled for this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Easley High School auditorium.
“I will certainly be on stage at the meeting,” Bagwell said. “Bill Houston (local realtor) and I together have about 64 years in education, all basically at Easley High School. We feel like we’ve been shoved out in the cold.”
Bagwell said he hopes the city can ban together and think of a solution.
“You never know what could happen,” Bagwell said. “We’ve got some wheels turning with maybe the possibility of creating our own school district. I know this has been brought to the public before, but in my time, this is the most serious I can ever remember the people of Easley and the people surrounding Easley (being).”
Garrison invited any that wanted to attend the meeting at Monday night’s session.
“I would urge everyone to show up to the public meeting next Tuesday night at Easley High School,” Garrison said.