By Natalie Fultz
COLUMBUS, GA - Today the desks are gone. There's no chalk for the chalkboards. Instead the Claflin School is full of debris, mold and empty beer cans. Prospective buyers came out for a mandatory walk through to get one step closer to purchasing the school from the city, but some were extremely disappointed in the city for allowing it to fall apart.
"If they actually cared then they would have maintained the building for its history and historical value rather than let it dilapidate so someone else can give them money so they can fix it up," Lakesha Stringer says.
"If you look at the school, the Claflin School, it's ruined," Johnnie Warner says.
The building stands on the site of where the first public school for African American children in Columbus. Yet it has been vacant for years.
"The longer it sits the more vulnerable it is to fire and destruction," Amy Carbajal says.
The initial deed signed in 1880 requires the Claflin School to be used for educational purposes, and if that can't be met then it must be turned over to the federal government.
"That deed was carried forward to today and so whoever decides to come in and develop this property or do anything this property has to keep in mind that there has to be some sort of educational component to their plan," Carbajal says.
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