Old Baker High to be torn down

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Roy Cook has dedicated a whole room in his Cook's Hot Dogs restaurant on Airport Thruway to his alma mater. Soon, his memorabilia will be all that's left of the Old Baker High School.

The building off Victory Drive and Benning Drive will soon come down.

"The best times were spent at Baker. It was just our heart," Cook, a member of the class of 1968, said.

The deal was sealed in a land swap between the Columbus Housing Authority and Muscogee County School Board, who owns the well-known building.

With the swap, the Housing Authority is giving the School Board 16 acres next to the Arbor Pointe housing development to build a new school.

In exchange, the School Board is demolishing Old Baker High and handing over the 10 acres it sits on to the Housing Authority.

"The school will be a great neighbor for Arbor Point and then more importantly, this allows some control as to what develops at that site. Obviously, we're not going to allow a usage or sell to someone that's going to use it for something that isn't a good neighbor for both our development and the school," said the Director of the Housing Authority, Len Williams.

City officials say it hasn't been decided what will fill the landmark's vacancy but one thing's for sure, the alumni are holding on to their memories.

"Part of me is going to die with the school and I think that every Baker High student and alumni feels that way. But the school isn't brick and mortar. It's in our hearts. As long as I've got breath, we've still got Baker," added Cook.

The old Baker High School should be torn down sometime in the next six months.

Officials say the land could be used for commercial use or office buildings.

As for Baker alumni, they're hoping to get some of the bricks from the demolished building to sell to raise money for their scholarship fund that's given to relatives of other graduates every year.

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