Group works to create a South Bibb community center

Group works to create South Bibb center

SMART, a non-profit working to revitalize South Macon, is trying to bring educational opportunities to people in the area by turning a blighted structure into a community center and they are asking Bibb County for help.

On Tuesday, commissioners could vote to take over the property on Lynmore Avenue so that SPLOST funds could go towards fixing the house. 

It’s a project Shundriel Miles says could help kids like herself in the community. 

Between new chess tables and plans for a playground, Miles says there is a lot happening in her neighborhood and she says it’s all because of SMART. 

“It's all like a ton of opportunities I never would have gotten unless I was a part of this group,” said Miles. 

Thanks to the group, Miles says she gets to lead a group of girls from her neighborhood.

“We learn how to -- like when you’re eating -- what to do. The proper spoons and forks to use and how to fold your napkin,” said Miles. 

Miles says they often have a hard time finding a place to meet, so she says she is excited that SMART is trying to turn an abandoned home into a community center.

“Some of the meetings we have are far away and not close to where we live, but some people live on Houston and Pendleton homes and they can just walk over here,” said Miles. 

SMART's president, Antonio Lewis-Ross, says that is exactly why they are trying to turn the blighted house into a community center.

“This is a place for the community where they did not place to convene. They would have to cross major streets or major intersections,” said Lewis-Ross. 

Lewis-Ross says they want a place where community members can educate each other, but he says in order to fix up the house, they need the county to take ownership of the property.

“It'll be part of the major project blight remediation project and a part of the SPLOST project, which is the $1.4 million playground,” said Lewis-Ross. 

By doing this, Lewis-Ross says they are hoping to bring hope back to the neighborhood.

“This was a community that was going downhill and basically by moving a couple blighted structures and coming up with a plan, it’s changing the morale of the community,” said Lewis-Ross. 

Miles says the center could not only help her group, but she says it could also help other kids in the area.
“If you’re in a group like this, you’re less likely to get in trouble,” said Miles. 

Bibb commissioners are scheduled to vote on accepting the property at Tuesday’s commission meeting.
 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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