Francisco news

Sylvia Burton - Special for The Stokes News

The Francisco School Gym is ready for inspection by the fire marshal and the county building inspectors after volunteers spent last Saturday cleaning and sprucing up the place. Final cleaning touches were made on the gym floor Sunday by Brad Collins. Many thanks to all who helped with this project; you are greatly appreciated!

The Our Communities Organizing Group (OCOG) is now in the process of creating a preliminary draft for the Francisco Elementary School repurposing plan by February 28, 2017. The final proposed plan is set for June 30, 2017. The plan is to be viewed and reviewed by our neighboring communities and Stokes County officials as being practical and one that can meet the goal of being feasible and sustainable. This is a great opportunity to make your voice and ideas known as to what you would like for the school to be used for. What would you like to see happen? Maybe child care or adult care, learning and training opportunities, health and wellness classes, special events and performances such as movies, theater or sports, or community services such as the Food Pantry, maybe retail; the possibilities are endless. But the key is knowing what the community wants. We can’t read your mind. Step up to the plate and tell us.

Another effort, which is already underway, is the creation of several teams, in other words, a Task Force, which will take your ideas and suggestions and analyze them. Are these ideas something that can work financially? Is this something sustainable? Will this benefit our area? These teams are Uses/Revenues, Operating Cost/rental Fees, Capital Costs, and Documentation. We are looking for experience in property management: housekeeping/cleaning, maintenance/repair, bookkeeping, scheduling, security and monitoring of property conditions. The other teams would have experience in financial matters, construction, building codes, operating costs, developing/analyzing numbers, etc. If you or someone you know qualifies for ANY of these, let us know. Our contact person is Nora Tallmon at or you may call her at 336-351-8230. Our time is running out. We have less than six months to pull it together. Community involvement is crucial in making Francisco Elementary School successful once again. Let’s all work together, all communities, to make this happen.

During this busy holiday season, please do not forget our Northern Stokes Food Pantry. No one should be hungry, especially our children and our elderly. This is the season of giving. Please make it a point to donate to this worthy cause.

Ronnie Jessup is home from the hospital. Please keep Ronnie and his family in your prayers.

Also, prayers for the Evelyn Collins family. Evelyn passed away last weekend after months of declining health. She is the sister of Virginia Vaden of the Francisco community.

Please be particularly cautious while driving this time of year. I feel as though most of us have hit a deer or two in the past but this year it seems like they are everywhere! My husband has been in the auto body business forever says he has never seen it so busy. Please drive safely.

Sylvia Burton

Special for The Stokes News

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