Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fate of Perry Building in Limbo; Raze the Old Brunswick School for Development Space, or Preserve It?

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fate of Perry Building in Limbo; Raze the Old Brunswick School for Development Space, or Preserve It?

Article excerpt

Byline: Hank Orberg

BRUNSWICK | Even though it's been preordained for seven years that the former Perry Street School on Martin Luther King Boulevard will be razed, the building's fate is stymied.

Two commissioners want it preserved and the mayor and another commissioner want it torn down to make way for development.

For more than an hour at the city's regular meeting Wednesday night, commissioners Johnny Cason and Cornell Harvey detailed their opposition to a plan to tear down the old school and build something else - most likely housing - in its place.

It was in 2006 that the Glynn County Board of Education agreed to hand over the 4-acre school property to the city in a land swap and to tear down the building.

"This is not the right way to proceed," said Cason. "I think the board of education would be happy to discuss this."

Used as an adult literacy center, the site had been home to the school bus yard and garage and administrative offices.

Harvey concurred with Cason's assertion that the building has value and said, "I feel that the building should be saved and used for public works."

With its "fine classroom,'' keeping the building could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, Cason said.

Just last week, Cason said he wanted the site used to house mowing equipment for street and park maintenance and as a staging area for materials used in building projects. The main thing, Cason told the Times-Union, is the building should stand until there is a plan.

Mayor Bryan Thompson said there is a plan and disagreed with Harvey and Cason point for point. Drawn up in April 2008, the Blueprint Brunswick II: Catalyst Site Redevelopment Strategies and Implementation Plan offers good choices for the site, Thompson said.

"There were several options presented to utilize that property for affordable and quality housing, one of which would be built for mixed use," he said.

The other options are 35 1,200-square-foot single-family homes or a public park. Another is a 96-unit multifamily facility with 176 parking spaces.

"It's likely to be some sort of blend of all three," Thompson said Wednesday night. …

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