What Will Happen to Vacant Schools in Montgomery?

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By Ashley Thompson

The former Head Elementary School on Atlanta Highway has sat vacant for years but soon it will be sold. Montgomery County School Board members now have a contract on the property.

The Montgomery County School Board owns several vacant properties around the city. Former schools that were left standing empty when the school board voted to consolidate.

"They need to go ahead and tear that particular building down," says Bishop Roosevelt Crawford.

He's talking about the old Bellingrath Junior High School, which is now an eyesore. Crawford says he once leased the building through his church, Connecting the Body of Christ Fellowship.

"That was on my original lease as well and then they started tearing it down."

But they didn't finish tearing it down and the end result is a dilapidated building in the middle of a neighborhood. There are others like it, including Houston Hill Junior High School and Patterson Elementary school. Montgomery County School Board Superintendent Margaret Allen says selling the buildings is not her first priority.

"We're not in the real estate business actually," she says. "We're in the teaching students business and this property thing is really taking a little time here and we really want to refocus our energy back on what happens within the buildings."

Montgomery County School Board Member Melissa Snowden says although the buildings are for sale, there has been little interest.

"We know that we're probably not going to get a whole lot for some of these buildings but if we can sell them, especially to community members or an organization that can use these buildings to help the community, we need to do that."

Not everyone says the vacant building should be sold. Some say school board members should repurpose them and use them somehow.

Because the sale is not yet final, school board members could not tell us who is buying Head Elementary School but there is a McClinton and Company sign out front.

 



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