Bibb Board of Education considers consolidating elementary schools

Some activists don't want L.H. Williams to consolidate with another school because of its location / Shannon Lilly (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- The Bibb County Board of Education discussed the idea of consolidating some elementary schools Thursday night.

Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones said that elementary schools like L.H. Williams, Riley and Brookdale have excess classroom space. Approximately 11 percent of space is not being used currently.

Board member Lester Miller said district schools have lower enrollment in part due to charter schools. The board predicts that by 2022, there will be about 91 more classrooms than needed across the district.

Members discussed their options and are considering consolidating some schools. Williams said it would save the district at least $500,000.

Jones suggested moving students from L.H. Williams to Brookdale.

Some residents are against closing L.H. Williams because it's in the historic Pleasant Hill area.

"It's a very important place, and it's a place that we cannot afford to lose," said activist George Fadil Muhammad.

Board member Lester Miller said that even if the school was closed, the building would still be used by the school system in some capacity.

No decision was made Thursday night, however all members were in agreement that at least one school will have to close. If not, Miller said it will cost taxpayers more money.

"We have some schools that are you know, almost half empty, and we still have to pay utility bills for the school," Miller said.

Jones will present a recommendation to the board in December and possibly make a decision in January. If the board makes a decision to consolidate schools, changes could begin as early as next fall.

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