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What’s next for the historic Matt School building?
Matt School- From County Property Record Site.jpg
Forsyth County Commissioners approved an amendment to a contract to buy the historic Matt School building at this week's meeting.

After a recent study done by graduate students at the University of North Georgia, county leaders are looking at ways to use the historic Matt School House, which was built in 1945 and is located at 5710 Namon Wallace Road.

During Tuesday’s work session, commissioners approved having county staff look at a scope of services for the project that will come back at a future meeting. 

Daniel Callahan, the county’s director of public facilities, said there was no approved funding for any work on the building, which would likely need design services, new windows and possibly a new roof.

“The interior, it’s not conditioned, so there’s no heating or air in there,” Callahan said. “So if we don’t do something with it, especially when the summertime comes, it’s probably going to start growing mold and mildew in there.”

County officials said some initial work had been done when the county purchased the building, including removing asbestos. The county purchased the building in 2019 for $408,696.

District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said a local business leader had said he would potentially pay for the roof.

“I’ve got some people that also would like to serve on a committee for it that would sell the windows and doors in honor or in memory [of former teachers],” she said, “but we’ve got to have some kind of design, some kind of roadmap, or else it won’t be done right, then we’ll have to have something else taken out.”

After meeting with members of the community, the UNG students recommended using the building for multiple functions, such as an alternative workspace in the old cafeteria, offering a coffee shop or café, using former classrooms for meeting spaces, giving local students a place to do homework and projects and using the school’s stage for performances, among other recommendations.