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Supervisors approve park on Weems Elementary site

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved plans for a new park and playground on the former Weems Elementary School grounds in Taylor.

The supervisors met on Monday to approve the preliminary and final site plans for the park, which will will include a pavilion, walking path, a half-basketball court and a playground. 

Weems Elementary School once served Taylor’s African-American children in the 1960s. It stood empty for several years until it was damaged in a fire that was likely caused by someone living in the building in an attempt to keep warm. The remains of the building that were not destroyed in the fire were demolished in May 2018.

The nonprofit group, Taylor Park Recreation, began raising funds and support for a park to be built on the land shortly after the building burned.

The county and the group have reached an agreement that the organization will pay a lease of $1 a year for three acres of land. In return, the park will be built with funds raised by the nonprofit, which has received its 501(c)(3) tax status.

“Typically with these types of approvals there’s usually some type of opposition,” Joel Hollowell, the director of development services, said. “With this one, there wasn’t anyone that was opposed to it. Which is amazing, because there’s usually someone who is opposed to something.”