The Hoffman School is being unveiled as the Hoffman Recreation and Conference Center with a community event that will last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m Saturday.
“This is going to be a big event for the Town of Hoffman to kick off our parks and recreation program,” Town Council member Daniel Kelly said Wednesday. “This is huge for Hoffman and the surrounding areas.”
When Hoffman got the deed to the school a year ago for $1 from Richmond County Schools, the town council wasn’t sure what they would do with the building but this was always on their radar.
“We know that the Town of Hoffman will make good use of this building, and it’ll be used for many, many more years,” RCS Associate Superintendent Dr. Robert Beck said at the September meeting of the Hoffman Town Council last year, when the deed was transferred.
Saturday’s event will have activities for all ages, raffles and a food sale, as well as a basketball scrimmage.
Eventually, the town hopes to have a basketball league, two volleyball leagues and a softball league.
The first 150 people to arrive before 10 a.m. will receive a free hot dog and soda. A meet and greet will be held from 10 to 11 a.m.
In addition to a parks and recreation center, the school will double as a place for conferences, family reunions, church events and other events that are catered.
“We’ve already redone the whole kitchen, and it’s state-of-the-art now,” Kelly said. “We have all new chairs and tables, and it’s really nice.”
Last Saturday, Kelly said about 25 residents volunteered their time to work on the landscaping outside the building.
“They’re just overwhelmed with it,” Kelly said of the citizens of Hoffman. “Everybody’s really excited.”
The building has been used in the past for the town’s Christmas celebration and other events.
One of the factors which led Richmond County Schools to retire the building for school purposes was the condition of the roof. The building’s roof needs to be replaced, and it is estimated it will cost about $200,000.
The maintenance of the school is estimated to be anywhere between $15,000 and $20,000 a year.
“We hope to be able to get some help with (the roof) down the road,” Hoffman Mayor Pro-Tem Tommy Hart said Wednesday. “We’re really just getting started on the maintenance of the building - and we’ve come a long way with it so far - but it takes a lot of funds to do everything we need to do with it.”
One of the terms of the agreement that gave the school building to the town is that it not be used as a school for the next 50 years, but an after school program could be held at the building.
Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 32, or by e-mail at email@example.com.