A Macon man says Bibb County schools need to do a better job maintaining their vacant properties.
Reginald Henderson has lived all his life in the Bellevue neighborhood. He’s lived in the same house across the street from Minnie Butler Elementary for almost 60 years.
“I started to go to school here when I was six years old and I graduated from this school in the 7th grade, and I still remember the principals and everybody in this school,” Henderson said.
Seeing the property now sours those memories. He sees broken windows, unkempt grounds, and unwelcome guests like snakes.
He hasn't seen anyone out to cut the grass in a while. Before Bibb Schools started to cut the grass Thursday morning, some sections of the grass were about four feet tall.
“I’m thinking 2 years or more,” Henderson said. “I have seen this grass grow, and grow and nobody come out and cut it.”
“We're also trying to maintain 40-plus properties that have active students and auxiliary functions going on,” Bibb Schools Capital Programs Director Jason Daniel said. “In all, there’s about 12,000 acres of property to maintain and cut on a daily basis.”
He says the district's priority is maintaining those schools that are now in use, not the vacant ones.
“The surplus properties have been (cut) as needed, and I'm hearing that maybe our definition is not as good as it needs to be,” Daniel said. “We're working to improve our frequency cutting and maintenance at those properties.”
That’s all Henderson wants, especially if the district is trying to sell the property.
“Maybe it would sell better if they keep the grass cut. Maybe it'll sell, but nobody’s going to buy it like it is unless they going to sell it dirt cheap," said Henderson.
Henderson already has a few ideas of what he would like the old school house to become.
“We just like to see a community center out here, or a recreation center for the kids to play out here,” Henderson said.
Four properties are currently listed as surplus by the district, and all of them are for sale.
Hall Elementary- 2312 Shurling Drive, $226,000
Neel Elementary- 2840 Hollis Road, $105,000
Butler Elementary- 3705 Earl Street, $133,000
Bellevue Elementary- 4090 Napier Avenue, $233,000
If interested in purchasing any of those properties contact Jason Daniel with Bibb Schools at 478-765-8505