MINT HILL – Organizers hoping to save the historic Bain School are one step closer after last weekend’s inaugural Bain Daze festival.
In hopes of saving the original school, or the final and most historic building from the school, Mint Hill residents have banned together to raise funds with hopes of creating a community center while persevering what some say is an integral part of the town’s history. But before moving ahead with construction, the Bain Restoration Committee needs to complete a feasibility study for the project.
“We hope to fund a feasibility study, and once that study has been done we will be ready to talk a little more seriously about what it will take to get the building ready for us,” organizer and Mint Hill Councilmember Tina Ross said following the festival.
Estimates for how much money was raised during the Sept. 21 festival at the Park on Fairview haven’t been calculated, but some say it will be enough to pay for the needed study.
The study will help organizers get a better idea of how much the project would cost. Some estimates discussed fall between $500,000 to $2 million, Mayor Ted Biggers previously told Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly.
Prior to Bain Daze, the committee raised $7,000 through private donations in efforts to save the school.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, which owns the 124-year-old Bain School, previously said Mint Hill needed to make a decision on whether to restore the old building by spring 2013, but no plans have been put in motion to tear down the school. Ross said the school system is willing to work with the committee and give it more time to raise funds.
“I think that they are willing to work with us as long as we are able to continue to make progress,” she said.
No timeline for construction has been set as the feasibility study nears. The committee is still hoping to receive more donations or a grant to fund the renovations of the building before moving forward.
“We are hoping that we will be able to get some grant money for (the restoration), but we need (additional) money to contribute toward that effort,” Ross said.
The Bain Restoration Committee is still accepting donations for its efforts. If the project does not proceed, all donations made to the effort will be returned to donors.
Find more about the efforts to restore the historic Bain School at www.bainacademycenter.com.