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Bradfordville Bugle

Lake Hall Schoolhouse preservation project receives county’s support

Jul 14, 2022 11:46AM ● By Cristi Mc Kee

On June 14, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners voiced its support for the preservation of the historic Lake Hall Schoolhouse.

Tuesday, elected officials voted 5-1 to authorize Leon County to purchase the property located at 4664 Thomasville Road, for a sum of $425,000.

Commissioner Bill Proctor (District 1) was in opposition. 

This historic one-room schoolhouse, which has been placed on the Local Register of Historic Places, was built in the 1870s and sits on two different properties off the private, unpaid Lake Hall Road.

It was built by emancipated African Americans on land that they owned, and by 1877, they owned the entire plantation surrounding Lake Hall and Lake Overstreet.

In April, County Commissioners urged staff to consider purchasing the Thomasville Road property that borders the schoolhouse.

That one-acre property, which is for $425,000 and has a 4-bedroom, 2-bath house, would provide the space needed to fully preserve the schoolhouse.

According to the approved agreement between the proprietor and Leon County, the county will pay what’s called an  “option fee” of $20,000 straight to the landowner.

After this, the county must purchase the entire property within 12 months of paying the option fee. 

At this point, taking into account the cost of architectural restoration, supporting infrastructure and facilities, the purchase price of the building and of the Thomasville Road parcel, the total acquisition and construction cost comes out to about $3.3 million.

It’s possible that the county will receive grants to offset some of these costs. 

The Friends of the Lake Hall School organization plans to seek out some of these grants, and  Commissioners Kristin Dozier (District 5) and Proctor are planning on contacting both the Leon County School Board and the Tallahassee City Commission for help with funding.