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Edgewood land transferred to Dunn Center

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By Damon Lawrence

The Roane County Commission approved a resolution allowing transfer of the Old Edgewood School building and property on Gallaher Road to the Michael Dunn Center.

“Our plan at this time would be to retain ownership of that until such a time that someone would contact us and express an interest in purchasing that property,” Michael Dunn President and CEO Mike McElhinney said. “The Michael Dunn board of directors has voted formally ... if we ever were to sell that property and move, we would remain in Roane County and we would retain the name of Michael Dunn Center.”

Last year, Director of Schools Gary Aytes recommended that the school board give the property to the county, so it could make the transfer to Michael Dunn.

The board initially balked at the idea, but approved the move by a 6-3 vote at its December meeting.

According to an analysis by the Roane County Executive’s Office, the 6 acres, combined with some additional land Michael Dunn already owned, should make it easier for the organization to sell and move.

“The county can maintain ownership of the land and try to sell it individually or donate the property and old school building to Michael Dunn in hopes of attracting a retail developer on a larger tract of land,” the analysis said. “However, without the value of the county’s land donated to Michael Dunn, sufficient funds may not be available for Michael Dunn to relocate.”

The resolution passed 15-0 in February.