Fairfield County Hopes To Revitalize Old School

For years.... the Mt. Zion Institute in Winnsboro has been abandoned, but Fairfield County is looking to change that.

Fairfield County, SC (WLTX) - Margaret Parker has lived across the street from the Mt. Zion Institute for decades. 

"To waste a building like that is a disgrace," Parker said.

The building has served as a preparatory school, encampment in the Revolutionary and Civil War and even as an elementary school, but has been empty since 1991.

"It has never bothered us because you know this is really a trustworthy community in here. Even though it's vacant, it has never bothered us other than we'd like to see something in it," she said.

And she may. Fairfield County Council recently discussed plans to renovate the building and move their administration to the heart of Winnsboro. The building is in walking distance to Congress Street, which serves as the town's "Main Street".

"It's one of those things that we would like to see as possibly like a snowball going down the hill," Winnsboro Mayor Rogger Gaddy said.

The town owns the property, but is working with the county and may eventually sell the property. Gaddy said it could spur new development in the area.

"It would help bring more traffic to downtown and increase the possibilities of having more retail space and the possibility of even having apartments over some of the retail space on downtown," he said.

And Parker hopes it works.

"Anything that you make something out of always embraces the community. I'd just like to see it being used and something in it or else tear it down make a park out of it," she said.

Fairfield County Council will have its next meeting on August 14th where residents can learn more about the project and give their thoughts.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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