Monday, November 9, 2015

Old Middle School's Future Under Discussion

What to do with the old Sallisaw Middle School was discussed at a meeting Thursday at the Sallisaw Schools Administrative Building.

School Superintendent Scott Farmer said the meeting was held to get input from community members about what to do with the old Tommie Spear Middle School.

The biggest problem, Farmer pointed out, is that the majority of the property on which the old school building sits is in the flood plain and cannot be used for other construction. The newer buildings on the old middle school campus are to be leased to the Boys & Girls Club or are in the consideration process by other agencies.

The main old school building was recently vandalized but the vandals were caught Farmer pointed out.

“We want to know how best to repurpose this land,” Farmer said, adding, “but the Cherokee Nation Businesses doesn’t desire to put a building in the flood plain.”

Farmer said he hopes to discover “What would best serve the community?”

Only four citizens attended the meeting, several from the Old Sallisaw High School Association. They suggested they would be interested in acquiring benches and the gazebo on the property for the park planned on the old high school property next door.

Farmer said it is hoped that all that can be will be salvaged from the old middle school building, such as the lockers. He said some have already shown interest in acquiring the lockers.

One of the options brought up for the property is to save one of the two gymnasiums and perhaps build a splash pad. Farmer noted those facilities would enhance the area and the activities for the children at the Boys & Girls Club, which is to move into two of the newer buildings on Jan. 1. But, Farmer noted, there is no money to improve or add facilities for the use of the children.

He said estimates to tear down the old school building range from $50,000 and up.

Farmer said the future of the old middle school will be on the school board’s agenda for their meeting Monday.

Anyone who would like to add their comments about the future of the property may contact Farmer at 918-775-5544 or may address email to

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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