The Bibb County school district has to search for ways to fill an $8 million budget deficit, a hole which could keep growing in coming years.
One suggestion from Chief Financial Officer Ron Collier was to sell off some of the district's unoccupied buildings.
In 2009, the sales of the Hunt, Ballard-Hudson, Weir, and Redding buildings added more than $600,000 to district coffers. But none have been listed as surplus and put up for sale since then.
District officials list the Butler Special Needs School, Hamilton Elementary, Neel School, Old King, Miller A and Miller B buildings as unoccupied. Some store old furniture and equipment. One other building, the old Elam Alexander on Ridge Avenue, houses documents and has one custodian who works there.
The district would not release the latest appraisals of the building, but records from the Macon/Bibb Tax Board of Tax Assessors say the total values of Elam Alexander, Butler Special Needs School, Hamilton Elementary and Miller B school add up to $5, 471, 559.
Last year, the district spent more than $42,000 to keep electricity on at two of the unoccupied buildings, keep the grass cut at 5 of the campuses, and provide some security patrols at the buildings, but the buildings are still targets of graffiti and other kinds of vandalism that can decrease the value.
School Board vice president Susan Middleton explained the unfavorable real estate market over the past three years might have dampened interest in the buildings, and the districts push to sell the buildings, but she says it may be time for the superintendent to provide a report on the unoccupied buildings.
In the accompanying video, Candace Adorka sits down with her to discuss the cost-benefit analysis of selling the buildings.