Created: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 06:07:00 EST
Updated: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 11:43:16 EST
The Bibb County school system is discussing some big moves to possibly relocate its administration offices and a school.
School system officials met Wednesday to discuss the logistics of relocating their offices from the Wells Fargo building in downtown Macon to Hutchings Career Center on Riverside drive. The school is next to the Welcome Center. With administrative offices possibly moving to Hutchings, there are discussions of moving classes from Hutchings to the Promise Center which was previously known as Hudson-Ballard Middle School.
"We are at very early stages of these discussions right now,” Cliffard Whitby who works with the Macon Promise Neighborhood said.
Last year, the school system agreed to lease the Promise Center for $575,000 annually for 10 years. In addition, the school system will pay $325,000 on utilities, up keep and other costs each year for a decade. Renovations on the building are nearly finished. When complete, it’s intended to provide different services like tutoring and family counseling for the community.
However, with the Hutchings Career Center possibly moving to the Promise Center, it may mean more renovations to the building before it opens to accommodate classes. Possibly meaning more money coming from tax payers
"All parties are being open to figuring out, is the best approach for this community," Whitby said.
If the administrative offices move, that leaves the 100,000 square foot building on Mulberry St. which the Board of Education owns, nearly empty. A Bowen Brothers Clothiers and Wells Fargo lease the first floor. However that doesn't bother Whitby, who is also part of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, who sees it as opportunity for downtown Macon to grow.
"It lends itself to some very real beneficial possibilities for this community as a whole," he said.
There's no word yet on how much the moves will cost. However some parents say moving the administration offices to Hutchings would be better for parking purposes.
"I think it would be a good move from a parents perspective," parent Tomeka Huston said. “Downtown is so congested; you can hardly find parking places.”
If the school does move to the Promise Center, Whitby said if may provide great opportunities for the school to work closely with Central Georgia Technical College, which is down the street.