Macon Housing Authority hopes to revitalize old Hunt Elementary School

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – At the corner of Kitchens Road and Shurling Drive in Macon lies what some may call an eyesore.

But there’s a development organization that doesn’t see it that way–it sees potential.

It all depends on the Macon-Bibb Commissioners.

The Macon Housing Authority is hoping to gain their support to redevelop the old Hunt Elementary school.

But while the commissioners would love to support every project, there’s only so much money to go around.

If they choose MHA, the housing authority is one step closer to receiving major money from the state–and that’s the ultimate goal.

The chains have been snapped off.

“We’re very excited about the possibilities,” said Macon Housing Authority Special Projects Manager Bruce Gerwig.

The windows are boarded up.

“(It) transforms a vacant school into a performing asset,” said Gerwig.

And the front drive’s filled with broken concrete.

“We’re seeking the support of the consolidated government,” said Gerwig.

But that’s no big deal for Macon Housing Authority–changing the old Hunt Elementary into something new is what the group does.

“I love their project idea, it redevelops the Hunt School into a senior assisted living center–they want to turn it into a 63-unit facility,” said Watkins.

Bruce Gerwig, who manages special projects for the Housing Authority, presented some basic plans for the project to the Commissioners Tuesday night.

And through the overgrown weeds and rusty playground equipment, the Macon Housing Authority has a new vision for the old elementary school.

63 units in multiple buildings–including space to entertain seniors with dances and movies.

But with a possible cost of about $8.3 million, Gerwig and his colleagues need the city’s help.

“They’ve got a tough decision to make–lots of demands on their money. We believe this is a valid public purpose. Hopefully, it can be approved,” said Gerwig.

But things certainly aren’t looking bad for the possibility of a senior residence–Commissioner Virgil Watkins says money talks in this situation.

“They’re really providing some solid housing opportunities that can really improve our community. So if we can find a way to fund them I think it would be great,” said Watkins.

The state passes out money each year for these kind of projects.

The developer fills out an application to get that money, and they need a certain amount of points.

The more points, the better the chance they get funding.

The commissioners support gives major points on that application, and that’s why it’s important to have the okay from them.

Gerwig said if they were approved, the senior residence could be completed around October 2016.

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