VERIFY: Is L.H. Williams Elementary School closing?

Is L.H. Williams Elementary School closing?

A petition on Facebook has garnered more than 500 signatures to save L.H. Williams Elementary School in Macon.
 
But so far, the school district hasn't confirmed that the school is set to close it's doors.
 
We set out to verify what the district's plans are.
 
 
"All of my memories from grammar school took place here at L.H. Williams," Antonio Williams said.
 
Antonio Williams and more than 500 other people signed a petition to save his childhood elementary school, L.H. Williams in Macon.

 
Williams says he's also planning to attend a Bibb County Board of Education meeting next week to oppose shutting down the school.
 
 
"That'll be another landmark closing," Williams said. "We've already lost Booker T. Washington Community Center and we've already given up a lot of our community to interstate projects over the years and it's divided the neighborhood in two."
 
But is L.H. Williams Elementary School really closing?
 
Bibb County Superintendent Curtis Jones says no, not any time soon.
 
"It is not closing," Jones said. "We're in the process of conducting a 5-year facility review."
 
Jones says L.H. Williams is among 5 other schools the district is looking at to potentially modify.
 
"The school probably needs at least 450 students to be at a size that we think is operational," Jones said. "And then we would like to see the building operating at a capacity of 75-85% utilization."
 
L.H. Williams has less than 450 students and Jones says they're not using all of the building.
 
He says there has been some interest from potential charter schools asking about the L.H. Williams location.
 
"There was this desire to look at L.H. Williams and we said there's nothing wrong with looking but we have our process that we're going through," Jones said.
 
So, we verified the board of education is not closing L.H. Williams Elementary School, but Jones says that could happen down the road.
 
Jones says they've hired an outside facility review team to look at the school and that team will present it's findings at the board meeting October 19. 
 
From there Jones will make his recommendation to the board in January of what he thinks should be done with the school. That could be anything from consolidation, to leaving things as they are.

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