Magnolia Springs to hold Public Town Meeting for schoolyard’s future

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 6/7/19

MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - The town of Magnolia Springs will have a Public Town Meeting on Tuesday, June 18, from 5 - 6:30 p.m. at the Community Association Community Hall to hold discussions about the …

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Magnolia Springs to hold Public Town Meeting for schoolyard’s future

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MAGNOLIA SPRINGS - The town of Magnolia Springs will have a Public Town Meeting on Tuesday, June 18, from 5 - 6:30 p.m. at the Community Association Community Hall to hold discussions about the possible future for the old school property located across the street from Town Hall.

The town purchased the school property at the end of 2018, after over ten years of attempts to obtain the land. The land consists of 3.7 acres, and was the spot of Richard Kelly Frank School before it burned down in 1985.

Mayor Bob Holk cited the schoolyard as a large part of the town’s history, and that councils have been trying to purchase it from the Baldwin County School Board since the time of the town’s incorporation. He states obtaining the school property for the town was one of his top priorities when he was elected mayor, and the council has stood behind him along the way.

In November 2018 Magnolia Springs signed the purchase agreement with the Baldwin County School Board, officially giving the town ownership of the property. But now that the town owns the space, what’s next?

That’s where the citizens come in, as the town council is seeking as many voices as possible to attend the June 18 meeting to gather citizen input and ideas on the best uses for the property. On this date attendees will have the chance to view a large copy of the survey that was completed during the purchasing process, and Holk will present ideas he gathered when he attended Design Alabama’s Summit at the beginning of the year. Holk discussed the school property during the summit, gathering ideas from professional designers and landscape and building architects for potential good uses for the property.

Though nothing is set in stone, one of the stipulations in the purchase agreement is that the location be kept for public use, going along with the town’s ideas. Turning the location into a recreational center of town has been discussed previously, including a park area, walking trails, and perhaps even a gazebo with a bandstand for performances.

A comprehensive plan was developed and adopted in 2009 by the Magnolia Springs Town Council of the time, and will be presented at the meeting for discussion. You can also visit the town’s website to get an advanced look at the plan at www.townofmagnoliasprings.org/comprehensive-plan.

The Town of Magnolia Springs invites everyone interested to come and share their ideas, thoughts, concerns, and suggestions during the Public Meeting, and for those who are unable to attend, you can sign up to the town’s e-newsletters and announcements on their website to receive a summary that will be emailed to give details on the meeting.

For more information, you can contact event organizer Jenny Opal White, town clerk, at clerkms@gulftel.com or 251-965-9888, or visit the website at www.townofmagnoliasprings.org.