By Alyssa Schnugg
Plans have been approved for a new park and playground in Taylor on the grounds of the former Weems Elementary School that burned down in 2018.
On Monday, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved the preliminary and final site plans for the park that will include a pavilion, walking path, a half-basketball court and a playground.
The Weems Elementary School served the children in Taylor’s African-American community in the 1960s but stood empty for several years. In March 2018, the building was heavily damaged after a fire broke out. The fire is believed to have been accidentally started by a homeless individual who had sought shelter inside the empty building.
What was left of the building was demolished in May 2018.
Shortly after, a community-based group dubbed Taylor Park Recreation, led by Tammie Hairston began raising funds and support for a park to be built on the property.
The county is leasing 3 acres of land to the group for $1 a year with the agreement that the park will be built with funds raised by the nonprofit group, which has received its 501c3 tax status.
District 3 Supervisor David Rikard commended the group who have worked to see the park become a reality.
“There’s been a lot of thought and process put into this,” he said. “I’m glad to see an empty piece of property will provide a place for youths to go for some outside activities.”