PEMBROKE, Ga. (WTOC) - There are some big changes ahead in Pembroke.
The site of an old elementary school will soon make way for an apartment complex for senior citizens.
“I think it will be an addition to our neighborhood. Good, solid folks like we are, you know, senior citizens, we all need a place to live. I don’t have a problem with that.”
"It's time for it to go."
Benny Clark and Howard Hodge have been living in Pembroke for years. Both have seen the old building go from Bryan County Elementary School, to a high school, and back again.
“My children, growing up, they went to school there. Some of my grandchildren went to school there, so it’s been a big asset for the community when it was a school, but now it’s time for it to go," Howard Hodge said.
Hodge said though he will be sad to see the building be demolished because many generations have walked through the halls, he said it’s time for it to go.
“Pembroke hasn’t grown very much over the years, and so anything that we can get to improve will be a big help,” he said.
That’s why he and many others living in the area are excited for the old Bryan County Elementary School to become a much needed senior living apartment complex.
“The city has sold this property for $250,000."
Pembroke City Administrator Alex Floyd said the project will definitely be a big win for the city.
“It’s a big draw for this area. We have a lot of seniors and larger houses that they don’t want to keep up with anymore," Floyd said. "We have a lot of seniors who can’t afford the rental housing or the inefficient housing that they’re in, so I think this is a good pick for this area.”
Floyd said though the project may take some time, in the end, it will bring new life to northern Bryan County.
“We are one of the last, if not the last, city within 60 miles of Savannah with less than 5,000 people, so I mean, growth is inevitable and we just have to be prepared for it," Floyd said.
“We need some different housing and that kind of thing, but it’s an eyesore now,” Hodge said. “It’s been vandalized, destroyed, and it needs to be torn down because you don’t know what’s going on over there. You don’t know what’s happening all the time.”
The project should take 12 to 15 months to be completed.
City leaders said this project is among many other projects brewing, including cutting the ribbon on a new fire station in two weeks.