FORT MILL --
The Fort Mill Care Center helps hundreds of people and distributes tens of thousands of pounds a food a month, but now, officials there are hoping for a helping hand themselves.
Preferably one that can sign a lease.
The Care Center decided at its monthly executive board meeting last week to start looking for a new building, officials said. The Fort Mill school district, which owns the Banks Street property where the Care Center has operated for about a decade, says it has it has no immediate plans to sell or lease the facility, but Care Center officials say they decided not to wait around for what they feel is inevitable.
“We don’t know what the time frame is, and we asked the school district to keep us in the loop, but we won’t wait until the sale is complete and sit down with the new owner,” Care Center director Carol Higgins said.
“We have no plans to sell it,” Fort Mill schools Superintendent Chuck Epps said. “We have not talked about it.”
An agenda for last Tuesday night’s school board meeting showed a closed-door executive session scheduled “to discuss contractual issues,” but Epps, who said the district also uses the Banks Street complex, said the agenda item was not related to the Care Center site.
“We have functions over there. We’re still using the building,” he said. “We have adult education there, so we’d have to find a new location. There have been no discussions to sell it.”
The Banks Street Family Resource Center at the site also houses a free medical clinic and other services for low-income residents.
Epps did say the decades-old building is expensive to maintain and needs upgrades – issues that will have to be addressed eventually.
“At some point, we’ll have to decide if we’re going to sink money into it or get rid of it,” he said, stressing that such a decision won’t be made in the near future.
Higgins said regardless of the district’s immediate intentions, the Care Center wants to find a more permanent location.
“We are going to stay in mode that this is not a permanent location and what are our options,” she said.
“We’re not going to do something tomorrow, but we’re not going to be caught short, either.”
One reason Higgins said she wants to be proactive is that it’s uncertain how long it will take to find a new location.
“It took us a year to find our current location,” she said.
“We feel like we’ve got to start to looking for a new place.”