Representatives with the Town of Smithfield and Johnston County Schools are denying rumors circulating this week of a possible sale of the Smithfield Recreation and Aquatics Center.
WTSB News was contacted by several Smithfield residents saying they heard the Town and school system had been privately discussing a possible sale of the SRAC giving ownership to Johnston County Schools.
Town Manager Michael Scott said he too has heard those same reports. “I have heard the rumors. I have received nothing in regards to this from the school system, nor have I been involved in any discussions with the School Board or County Government regarding the Town selling the SRAC.”
Scott said two grants were received from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) that funded the construction of the SRAC. Those grants totaled $951,950. Both of those grants require the site to be developed for recreational purposes for a period of 25 years.
“I prefer not to comment further on rumor or hypotheticals,” Scott added.
WTSB News reached out to Johnston County School officials for a comment. Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow told us, “To my knowledge, there are no official negotiations between our BOE (Board of Education) and the Town of Smithfield regarding the SRAC. We do on occasion have conversations with other entities about our future as a school district and how to improve the quality of education for each student with regards to curriculum and facilities. I am unsure of the source of this rumor but must admit I do find it intriguing.”