MACON, Ga. — Riley Elementary 2nd grade teacher Amanda Allen says it feels like just yesterday when she was first unpacked her supplies at Riley, two years ago.
Now, she's about to do it all over again.
"We'll be moving to Brookdale Elementary for the next school year, and after that school year, we'll be transitioning back to a brand new school, so that's the exciting part," Allen said.
Keith Simmons of the Bibb County School District says they've decided to merge Riley and Brookdale Elementary to serve their students better in a new building.
"To operate a plant that's built for 700 when it only has 300, that cost is still the same. The other side of that, it's difficult to ensure that students are not in spaces that you're not supervising when you have those open spaces," Simmons said.
"Our campus is pretty open, so a little bit more closure on the playground fields would be nice," Allen said.
"In today's efforts to ensure safety and security of the campus at large, this particular creates some challenges that we will be able to take care of with a new building," Simmons said.
The $13.5 million project is funded by ESPLOST money and has been in the works for over two years. Simmons says Demolition at Riley will begin mid-June.
"It's a relatively quick turnaround. We're trying to get this facility prepared for new construction and get this facility open at the start of the 2020 school year," he said.
Allen is just proud to be a part of the change.
"We're making history as the last staff, faculty staff, and students at Riley, and now we're going to be making history as the first staff, faculty and students at the new school," Allen said.
Together, Brookdale and Riley's population totals about 750 students.
Once they move into the new building, Brookdale will close.
Keith Simmons says the School Board hasn't decided on a name for the new school or what they plan to do with Brookdale's building after it closes.