What's next for Old Baker High School?

By Mackenzie Patterson - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Old Baker High School holds a place in history for the valley.  Demolition on the school is almost over leaving an empty hole in South Columbus.  Now, what happens to the 10 acres the school was sitting on?

About a year ago, Baker was engulfed in flames that consumed the halls that students once filled.  A month ago, bulldozers ripped at the face of a building that stands for the past of so many in Columbus.  Now rubble is the only thing that is left of the Old Baker High School.

While alumni, like John Crimmel, still mourn for the school that once stood here, they look to the future—for the good that comes from Baker's sacrifice.

"We don't want to see anything like a bar or a tattoo parlor, but maybe some retail stores, something that would provide some employment here," said Crimmel.

Amy Moore with the Housing Authority of Columbus agrees.  After demolition finishes, the Housing Authority will take control of the 10 acres now sitting almost vacant in South Columbus.  It's all because of a land swap between the Muscogee County School District and the Housing Authority.

"They needed land for an elementary school, and that's when the conversation began," said Moore.

So, the School District and the Housing Authority are switching lots.  However, Moore told News Leader Nine everything is still up in the air for what may go on the Baker site when the Housing authority takes over.

"It's going to be a boost for the community.  You know a good use in there would certainly compliment everything that's going on around there, and we are seeing a revitalization of the area," said Moore.

Moore said part of that is due to one the Housing Authority's developments, Arbor Pointe, just down the street from Baker.  She explained this may be housing like this may be in store for the Baker land or it may be commercial.  She said it may take some time to decide how the Housing Authority will develop the land, but Moore explained the land will not be an eye sore.  The Housing Authority will maintain the land and keep it clean for the area.

Both Crimmel and Moore agree this is a chance to not only make the South side but all of Columbus proud.

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