On Wednesday, September 25, Bibb County Public Schools have begun serious discussions in regard to relocating their downtown Macon office -- where monthly board meetings are convened-- to a more convenient area with sufficient parking.
Macon's WGXA-TV reported that school system officials met to discuss the logistics of relocating their offices from the Wells Fargo building in downtown Macon to Hutchings Career Center on Riverside Drive.
The Hutchings Career Center would then move classes eventually to the currently empty Promise Center building --under renovation-- which was previously known as Hudson-Ballard Middle School on Anthony Road.
Hutchings Career Center is a career technical high school in Macon which provides students in grades 9-12 academic, technical, and employment skills needed to successfully enter the workforce and/or post-secondary institutions.
Hutchings Career Center was opened based on educational research on increasing achievement, improving graduation rates, and sustaining student success in post-high school experiences.
Hutchings does not have an assigned attendance area, but instead draws its students from across the school district. Students attend Hutchings understanding that there are no sports, fine arts, or JROTC programs offered to students.
Macon Promise Neighborhoods project is designed to provide support for children and their families who live in the Unionville and Tindall Heights neighborhoods in Macon.
The long-term goal of Macon Promise Neighborhood is to end generational poverty, improve children’s achievement in school, and provide children and their parents the same choices and opportunities typically associated with neighborhoods with greater resources.
Last year, Bibb County Public Schools agreed to lease the Promise Center for $575,000 annually for 10 years.
Plus, the school system had agreed to pay $325,000 which would include utilities, maintenance costs for a decade.
Renovations on the former Ballard Hudson building are nearly finished. When complete, it is intended to provide different services like tutoring and family counseling for the community.
According to WGXA-TV, if the administrative offices move, that leaves the 100,000 square foot building on Mulberry St. which the Board of Education owns, nearly empty.
A Bowen Brothers Clothiers and Wells Fargo lease the first floor. However that doesn't bother Whitby, who is also part of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, who sees it as opportunity for downtown Macon to grow.
Whitby told WGXA-TV: "It lends itself to some very real beneficial possibilities for this community as a whole," he said.