County To Lease Old Ransom Property For Cantonment Community Center; Barry To Seek Half Million For Construction

October 14, 2020

A new community center in Cantonment could soon be a reality on the site of the old Ransom Middle School.

At their Thursday meeting, the Escambia County Commission is expected to approve a lease for two acres of the 12.1 acre former school property on Muscogee Road. And District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry told that he will soon seek a half million in funding to build the community center.

“Within the next few meetings, I will be bringing to our board a request to allocate $500,000 towards a community center on the property from our BP Restore fund,” Barry said. “These are the first steps to bring a fantastic resource to a deserving community, and I’m happy to play a part in their success.”

The county will pay the school board $10 per year to lease the property for an initial term of 30 years, with an option for two additional renewal terms of 30 years each. Under the lease terms, the county would need to allocate funding and begin construction of a community center within 7.5 years. The county will also provide the school board with infrastructure for the remainder of the parcel, including high speed wireless internet, security fencing and gates, stormwater retention pond, parking lot, security lighting and driveway extensions.

The Escambia County School Board recently approved signing the lease.

“I’m so excited to bring this to the board on Thursday and so appreciative of the support of the school board earlier this month,” Barry added. I want to thank my friends, Superintendent Malcolm Thomas, District 5 Representative Bill Slayton, and current Workforce Education Director, but former Transportation Director, Steve Harrell for working with me over a period of several months to make this happen for the entire Cantonment community.”

In 2015, Escambia County made improvements to Carver Park on Webb Street, located a short distance from the old Ransom Middle School. Those improvements include a renovated community resource center — a former school portable building that’s less than 800 square feet.

The Cantonment Improvement Committee has managed the small resource center at Carver Park, faithfully holding programs and providing services as space has allowed. And they have advocated for a larger facility at the former Ransom property for years.

“I also want to specifically recognize and thank the Cantonment Improvement Committee for their dedication and persistent advocacy for their community,” Barry said.

Pictured: The former Ransom Middle School, which was also the site of the Sid Nelson Center, was demolished in 2014. file photos, click to enlarge.


13 Responses to “County To Lease Old Ransom Property For Cantonment Community Center; Barry To Seek Half Million For Construction”

  1. Rita M Westmore on October 16th, 2020 10:21 am

    Thank you in advance for the decision to put a center there. I grew up at 411 Washington Street in Cantonment, Florida in the 60’s and 70’s. It was a great neighborhood and still is.

  2. I Hope they put a traffic light up. on October 15th, 2020 5:45 pm

    Sure hope they put a traffic light there, traffic is already horrible at that intersection of Louis St and Muscogee and now to add this.
    @Rafael LowPrice Lopez- you claim having nothing to do out here is the reason for crime? No the reason for crime is because people are too lazy to get a job and want to use that as an excuse. Ridiculous for you to think that a community center will reduce the crime.

  3. T M on October 15th, 2020 11:22 am

    Sounds like our community committee has struck a good deal for us.Thanks to Mr. Barry and school board officials. I hope this community Center will be named after the late Earl Ransom . Because he donated Escambia County School Board the 12.1 acres for educational purposes. There once was a time when St. Regis sponsored Ransom High School with tablets folders notebook paper and even donated money . Mr. Barry. You are marvelous commissioner. We are well pleased with you.

  4. Cantonment Mom on October 15th, 2020 10:01 am

    @ J D I am so sorry for all of your loss as well. I’m at a loss on who to contact to get this resolved. Our county Commissioner just doesn’t seem to care anymore. Just my opinion…

  5. tax payer on October 14th, 2020 9:25 pm

    As long as it doesn’t cost any time or money, I’m all for it.

  6. J D on October 14th, 2020 8:51 pm

    @ cantonment mom, I feel for what the folks in Bristol park deal with . But I live on the lower end of eleven mile creek in a place that has been there since the 1800s . Water had been in yard in the past but never flooded til 2014 and hurricane Sally I had 5 ft of water in house in 2014 and 2.5 ft this go around. Yes there is a problem upstream of my place due to development and navy federal. So while y’all folks upstream are getting it I’m getting everything from the mill , bristol park, navy federal, all the subdivisions.. and also eleven mile creek has always flooded that bridge on 297 before bristol park.

  7. Nice on October 14th, 2020 6:23 pm

    This is awesome news! Thanks to all who had a part in making this happen!

  8. Josh Womack on October 14th, 2020 6:15 pm

    The Cantonment Improvement Committee was started in 2012 with a Vision of a Sustainable lifestyle for Youth and Elderly of the community,We are a inclusive group trying to reach out and help those that need it.

  9. joe vidak on October 14th, 2020 3:05 pm

    Ransom was a black school back in the days of segregation in 1969 it went from being a high school to a middle school it changed to Sid nelson after the construction of another Ransom. I was there in 1969 and it was not a new school then I’d guess it went back to the 1950’s at least.

  10. J W on October 14th, 2020 1:44 pm

    What timeframe was Ransom Middle School there ?

  11. Cantonment Mom on October 14th, 2020 9:45 am

    Why don’t you use that money to fix Eleven Mile Creek so the folks in Bristol Park will stop flooding. I understand years ago FEMA gave the County 6.5 million to do restoration, bought homes in the subdivision and then tore them down to fix this problem. Bristol Park needs help from the County!!!

  12. Yes Please on October 14th, 2020 9:32 am

    I think this is a great idea. Any way we can add a community pool on the property? It would be nice to have one in this area.

  13. Rafael LowPrice Lopez on October 14th, 2020 7:40 am

    If the public gets behind this like they get behind their favorite candidates for president, then maybe we can see a reduction in crime in our community. The kids have nothing to do out here. Finally a step in the right direction.

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