Fate of former Fair-Oak Youth Center uo foir grabs

The former school building in the heart of Fair Play that used to serve as the Fair Oak Youth Center is in a sorry state of repair and contains asbestos and lead paint, and no one at present seems to know what should be done with it. The property, still owned by the Fair Oak Youth Center organization, has been tentatively given to the Fair Play Fire Department, Fair Play fire chief Larry Wilkinson told county council members Tuesday, but the transfer has not yet been made. The approximately six acres of property is ideally suited for a possible new Fair Play fire station, Wilkinson said, given that the department’s current building and site is too small with no possibility for expansion. County administrator Amanda Brock said estimates to demolish the building and abate the hazardous material run from $200,000 to $210,000. Brock said that while grants might be available to fund the needed work on the site might be available if the fire department owned the property, the current ownership status of the property rules out that route. As the building is not county property, the county has no liability or direct responsibility, Brock said. Questioned by Councilmember Wayne McCall whether the School District of Oconee County, as builder of the building, might have the ultimate liability to demolish the building and dispose of hazardous materials, county attorney David Root was unsure.
In many cases, the originators of possible contaminant source were liable, Root said, but he was unsure whether that applied to school districts. Root was asked to clarify any possible legal liability the school district might have. Councilmember Glenn Hart, whose district includes Fair Play, said he wanted to see a way found for enabling the Fair Play fire department to make use of the property.