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Elementary set to close as Forest Cove apartments await demolition

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 11:27 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -On Wednesday, Thomasville Heights Elementary School held a closed-door question-and-answer session for parents and school administrators.

The southeast Atlanta elementary is set to close at the end of this school year, according to Atlanta Public Schools.

The closure is anticipated because roughly 75% of the student body comes from a nearby apartment complex, the Forest Cove Apartments, which will soon close as well.

In December, a judge ruled all residents of the Forest Cove Apartments must relocate and the complex must be demolished due to deplorable conditions.

Judge rules residents of Forest Cove Apartments must relocate and complex must be demolished.
Judge rules residents of Forest Cove Apartments must relocate and complex must be demolished.(CBS46 News)

The Forest Cove Apartments, which are federally subsidized, host 211 families.

It is owned by The Millenia Companies, a property management firm based in Ohio. A spokesperson did not immediately respond to CBS46′s questions surrounding the future of the Forest Cove Apartments.

“The rats are taking over. You can’t put food down. The roaches. You’ve got holes in the floors,” said one resident who goes by the name Ms. Peaches.

Ms. Peaches has lived at the complex for more than thirty years. She’s seen mayors come and go with promises of change as the conditions only worsened.

“It’s heartbreaking. How could you let a human live like this. It’s hurtful. But I’m hoping the Mayor will step up this time. This is the fifth mayor I’ve been through,” said Ms. Peaches.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens toured the complex last month and called for change.

The Mayor is working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to temporarily relocate the 211 families at the Forest Cove Apartments.

Mayor Dickens tours Forest Cove Apartments
Mayor Dickens tours Forest Cove Apartments(City of Atlanta)

A spokesperson said Mayor Dickens also formalized an Administrative Order directing city departments to “take all necessary action to prepare for the immediate development of properties owned by City, Atlanta Housing, and Invest Atlanta in and in the vicinity of Thomasville Heights.”

This is to help ensure that those forced to relocate can keep some semblance of community, while staying close to the elementary school for if/when it reopens.

As of Wednesday, residents at the Forest Cove Apartment were still waiting on relocation plans.

“They said give us a couple more weeks. They’re going to start back moving people, relocating. I got enough faith, I believe they’re going to do it,” said Ms. Peaches.

Most of the students at Thomasville Heights Elementary will be rezoned for Slater Elementary, according to the school district.

The principal at Thomasville Heights Elementary will also move and take over the same position at Slater, according to Purpose Built Schools Atlanta.

“They’re confused right now. They’re like the parents – they don’t know. We don’t’ know. And we don’t understand,” said Ms. Peaches.