Inquirer: Old Muscogee school district eyesore is on its way out

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comJune 22, 2014 

A Concerned Reader named Glenn wrote to report something most of us have seen regularly, or at least those of us who venture downtown.

"Mike,

"By far the biggest eyesore in Columbus is the old Muscogee County School District office on 13th Avenue.

"All the windows are knocked out or open to the elements and the place is overgrown with 10 years of vegetation.

"Basically it is falling to the ground. It's disgraceful. Surely someone besides me notices this?"

Well, Glenn, you've got a point. I think the reason so many of us haven't really noticed the eyesore is because even when the building was in use, it was ugly as a bucket of armpits.

Like so many buildings of that era -- the mid-1950s -- it's squat and boxy and the windows are a festival of aluminum.

If the new school district building a few miles down the road looks like the Taj Mahal, as the wags like to say, this place looks like the rest of India.

But you're right, Glenn, it's gotten even uglier lately. As you said, the windows that aren't broken are open to the elements, as is one of the front doors, which was carefully boarded up with plywood before being left open.

As I was taking the accompanying pictures and making the above pithy observations, I realized why the front door was open. At that moment, a long, large work pickup truck -- the kind you see Brookstone kids driving -- pulled up and a couple of workers got out and walked up the steps and into the building.

OK, so maybe the school district is working on the place.

Bobby Hecht, the district's director of construction, would probably know the scoop.

Good news, Glenn. Hecht says the old eyesore is on the verge of demolition and should be gone in six to eight weeks at a cost of a little less than $100,000, give or take a few.

The school district has no use for the land, so it is being given to the Columbus Museum. That's something like taking some cash out of your left pocket and putting it into your right pocket, because the school district owns the museum property, but it's still a nice gesture.

Hecht says he doubts the museum has any immediate plans for the land, but it gives them some room to expand someday down the road.

And in case you're wondering, yes, it was part of the old 13-acre W.C. Bradley Estate that the family donated to the city in 1947 to be used for culture and education.

I hope someone said thanks.

Update

Last month, we reported on a phenomenon in the Liberty District in which the intersection of Eighth Street and Eighth Avenue had shiny new stop signs installed but without the old ones being taken away. It made for a funny picture, anyway.

Well, the old ones are gone now, and hopefully they have been recycled in some fashion.

-- Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or mowen@ledger-enquirer.com.

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