A local church tore down a historical east Macon building in hopes of replacing it with a new area for the community. True Faith Church of God In Christ says they want to turn the building that was formerly Macon's Cross Key Christian Academy into a park for east Macon.

“I took her into the classroom, and I looked at her and I walked out,” says Ellen McClendon.

Behind the fallen brick and piles of debris, McClendon says there is a room that is full of memories.

“And then I drove back around the block and I came back and looked into this window here, and she was playing. I came back to the car and said she’s happy,” says McClendon.

McClendon says her daughter's first day of school was at Macon's Cross Key Christian Academy.

“It was like a beacon in the community,” says McClendon.

Evans Brown says the school is a big part of east Macon’s history.

“It was an icon in the city,” says Brown.

Brown says he has lived right down from the school for almost 40 years, but in the early 2000s, he saw a new side of the building when he bought the church directly behind it.

“This building had begun to deteriorate the roof was caving in and, of course, after 14 years, it’s gotten worse,” says Brown.

Brown says thanks to about $19,000 in donations, they are tearing down the building.

“Recapture what was already going and establish a positive force in this neighborhood,” says Brown.

Brown says their plan is to build a community park. A place McClendon says could be a great asset.

“Help the young people and senior citizens. We have some of those programs going on now, but we'll be able to do it on a bigger scale,” says McClendon.

McClendon says it also could bring joy to more kids, the same way the school did for her daughter all those years ago.

Brown says they were able to keep some memorabilia, like old football jerseys and trophies, from the school.

Brown says they plan to have a place at the church where people can see those items and learn about the history of the school.