MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A new housing development for seniors in Macon will take the place of an old building that hasn’t been used in more than a decade.
It’s a step to preserve a name and leave a new legacy.
“It will spruce up this entire area — improve it,” Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Elaine Lucas said.
Leaders in the county say they’re excited about the new Hunt School Village — a senior living space off of Shurling Drive in east Macon.
“We can provide assisted housing to them and have state-of-the-art housing. It makes you feel, you know, that you are doing good and that’s what we’re all about,” June Parker, the executive director for the Macon-Bibb County Housing Authority, said.
The 39,000 square foot, $11.8 million project is taking the place of the old, blighted Henry A. Hunt Elementary School. Reminders of what the school once was are scattered throughout the building that’s been closed since 2003.
“The community is so excited about the possibility of having this new facility here where senior housing will be,” Lucas said.
She’s enthusiastic about the changes in her district. She says she once taught at Hunt Elementary and is happy to see the building getting revitalized.
“It enhances everything that’s good in a community to have something like this,” Lucas said.
She said she’s looking into working with fellow commissioners to using some of their appropriated blight removal funding to build up the area surrounding the building.
The county commission along with the housing authority and other partners are creating affordable rental housing for people 62 and older.
There will be a kitchen, as well as a fitness and computer centers.
Leaders with the housing authority say they bought the building from a developer looking to turn the blighted building into a convenience store.
“We know that there’s housing needs here. So we approached them about the possibility of purchasing from them to do this, to transform to housing for seniors,” Parker said.
Meeting a need for both residents and the surrounding community.
“There was pride years ago with Henry A. Hunt Elementary School, there was pride some years ago with Henry A. Hunt Magnet School, and now there’s going to be pride in Henry Hunt Village for senior citizens,” Lucas said.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs spent more than $6 million in tax credits for the project in addition to more than $1 million from the county.
Leaders expect the development to be completed in about a year.