Planning Committee Meeting Notes – 8/10/2018

Meeting participants: Willa, David, Fatimah, Richard, Lauren, Wallace, Andy, Dan, Les, Charity


  • Fatimah is working on an alumni update package; Richard provided some feedback, including an update of new members with their pictures. She would like to get the packet mailed on Monday. It will include: Grant Update, Historical Recognition, and 90th anniversary
  • Fatimah discussed experience with PAGE project; noticed the retrospect that there was nothing mentioned about her mother (who was a teacher of the school). In general, the PAGE participants did an excellent job on displaying the project.
    • PAGE = Partnership for Appalachian Girls’ Education ( This is its 9th year in operation in Madison County; the program is sponsored by Duke University. Program was started by Becky Anderson in Spring Creek; she got the initial grant. It is designed for middle school girls in Hot Springs, Laurel, and Spring Creek communities. This is the first year is was relocated to Madison Middle School and has 60ish participants now that it is county wide program. This is the first year they’ve done installations – focused on the Anderson School and the Laurel School. We should consider establishing future programming at the school similar to this when we are ready for programming.


Income to date: $108,869.25 + $11k (BOE allocation/funds in Board of Education budget)

Expenditures to date: $94,121.34

Balance: $14,747.91 + $11k (BOE allocation/funds in Board of Education budget)


  • Automatic vents are going in today and the wall (underneath the building) is built
  • David met with Scott and Eric Allen; they are looking at the structural upgrades needed before work can begin on the interior. Scott will work on the specs and give an estimate on costs. David and Willa met with new superintendent of Madison Co schools. As a condition of the National Trust grant, we will use the school’s procurement process and discuss options: phases, formal bid vs. piecemeal, etc.
  • There’s a ballot measure in Madison Co. to increase the sales tax for schools
  • French drain: David spoke with Jessica (regional water quality specialist). They are working on a grant proposal from the Pigeon River Fund for the French drains. Need to consider draining water into a garden similar to what was done at Barnardsville Elementary.
  • Willa mentioned that we need to update the insurance coverage; we can put up security cameras now.
  • David mentioned that the building must be built to code if it is open to the public, includes a ramp to access the stage; Dan will contact Jennifer Cathey about this.
  • NEXT WORK DAY (Dan will let everyone know): Need to get the gird out of the basement. Met with a flooring man, but is currently unavailable. Dan thinks we can do the flooring ourselves. Other interior stuff, nothing can be done until the electric/plumbing/insulation is done. Builders Express will handle the plumbing materials; Michael Griffin will do the rough-in of the plumbing. Clark can find folks to do the rough in for the electrical; need to find someone to donate the electric materials


  • Dan has all the old pictures that Ryan has with all the details of what the building looked like; need to get a small group of people to really look at the stage (compare it to the chairs/windows) to estimate the stage’s height and other components. Dan will be the chair of the group. Andy mentioned that there may be software used in architectural history to do this. Wallace, Fatimah, and Charity volunteered to assist.
  • Richard is working on the names for the grand opening. Will get addresses later. This will help us determine the amount of people to expect
  • Sat, Sept 1 from 10-12 is when will have the open-house for the community; need folks here to be greeters. For homecoming, need to keep the building open from 12-4pm on Saturday and from 1-5pm on Sunday.
  • Next year, Aug 30 will be the big homecoming (Fri); Aug 31 will be family groups (Sat)
    • Discussed using Rental Me This for tents/chairs: can do everything for outdoor gatherings


  • Willa and Michael completed the final report for the Centennial Fund grant that we received last year. She shared the final budget vs. actual expenses spreadsheet.


  • Willa shared an announcement of the Recent North Carolina Listings in the National Register of Historic Places. The official listing is located at: It is called the “Mars Hill School” within the Fisk University system for Rosenwald-funded Schools.
    • Willa will forward this info to all the media/news outlets: Enterprise Mountaineer, Urban News, News and Record, Asheville Citizen Times. Willa will draft the article and share with the committee to review
  • Bobbi Tousey  runs the history of Mars Hill NC Facebook page; she shares a lot of older pictures on the school
  • Andy is able and ready to work!
  • David mentioned that official speed limit sign by the school system has been made; speed will be 5 MPH
  • Need to do an update to the website now that the school is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was awarded the grant. Need to schedule some time with Simone. Willa mentioned that we need to set up a retreat after the soft-opening to work on these.
  • Andy suggested that we publish a book (in addition to the brochure) to sell; Andy’s offered to handle the cost of publication
    • Richard made a motion that we move forward with Andy’s offer to cover publication costs for a book to use for programming. We should engage Simone and Ryan in updating the documentation
  • Judy Futch returns in October; we will then work on updating the Strategic Plan
  • Parking: Willa recommended that the church and the school work together to reclaim a parking area, a gravel space near the flag pole