Zoning Proposal Raises Concerns

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Alvin Barber says the old Magnolia School campus is a key part of his Thomasville community, and he says the possibility that new owners may be granted a zoning change transforming the campus into a faith-based teen boarding school is a bad idea.

Alvin Barber, a local resident and school alumni, says, "To re-zone this would take us out of position of having our prestigious feeling that we have in this neighborhood and the safety that we feel in this neighborhood."

The property is owned by the Thomas County school board, but after moving the Hand-in-Hand school to a new building, the school system says they're selling the property, and two men from out of town have already submitted a contract.

But that sale is pending on whether they can get the city zoning changed to allow on-campus living.

Barbara Anne Mitchell, a local resident, says, "This is our heritage and we don't want it disturbed at all."

We spoke with Doug Pennock, a member of the purchasing group, over the phone Thursday afternoon. He says he and his partner are in the process of forming an advisory board to gain community input as the school moves forward.

Pennock says he's confident the school will be a blessing to the community and a blessing to the students at the school, but residents like Alvin Barber still say they disagree.

Both sides will have their say Monday March 6, when the issue goes before the city zoning board.