Bibb County school district's insurance company has a disaster restoration team working to salvage furniture from the old King Elementary building after a June 21 fire caused smoke damage.
Risk Management Director David Gowan says fire investigators suspect arson, which would be a side effect of only part time surveillance at the district's 6 unoccupied school buildings.
"We don't have anybody on site that's here everyday. We do try to monitor these buildings as best we can, these empty buildings, but it is a challenge."
Chief Financial Officer Ron Collier says the district needs to find solutions to the drain on the general fund that could leave it empty in the next five or six years. One of his suggestions to cut costs was to sell off the buildings.
The district spends about $1,000 a year to have employees check on empty buildings, though the figure doesn't include campus police and Macon police patrols. Gowan says they're looking out for trouble makers.
"Sometimes the break-ins are vandalism, spray painting walls, things like that," he said. "But the biggest theft items are copper."
He says when a disaster like a fire happens that the items stored in the buildings are covered by insurance but not the building itself.
It also costs $12,600 a year to maintain the grounds at the schools, and last year utilities at Miller A and King Elementary added up to $28,600, but the district says utilities at King were turned off after the fire.
At a total of $42,000 a year for the unoccupied buildings, we'll dig into whether the cost of maintaining the buildings outweigh the benefits, which include storage for excess materials from the district.