The sale of the old Berea Elementary School to Legacy Early College has hit a snag.
Legacy wanted to buy the old school at the corner of Farrs Bridge and Sulphur Springs roads from Greenville County. Legacy wanted to demolish the old building and construct a new school with a façade substantially the same as the old elementary school, which Legacy founder and Board Chairman William Brown had said is not economically feasible to keep.
More County Council members voted in favor of the sale at second reading than not, but because there weren’t seven yes votes, the measure failed. Six Council members voted in favor: Butch Kirven, Fred Payne, Lynn Ballard, Bob Taylor, Sid Cates, and Liz Seman. Five voted against: Joe Dill, Mike Barnes, Rick Roberts, Ennis Fant, and Xanthene Norris. Councilman Willis Meadows recused himself from the vote because his son works with the firm that audits the school.
But the sale is not completely dead yet. Meadows said in a Facebook post that council rules allow those on the winning side to ask that the previous vote be reconsidered at the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Legacy has more than 1,350 students in kindergarten through the 12th grade. It has two campuses on Greenville’s west side. The school now occupies the former Parker High School and a former elementary school that once housed the Fine Arts Center. Brown has said a second middle school is needed because Legacy is at capacity at that grade level.
A group of Berea residents have fought since 2015 to save the old school after a Florida developer proposed rezoning the property and building a commercial development. The Works Progress Administration completed the school in 1939. It served as a campus for Greenville Technical College before its current Northwest campus was built on White Horse Road.
Brown said Legacy is now studying its options.