Bye Bye Central State

Many students have noticed the new fencing now surrounding some of the abandoned Central State Hospital buildings. It has proposed many rumors around GC. Some took it upon themselves to even start a petition to “Stop the Destruction of Historic Central State Hospital Buildings. Milledgeville, Ga.” This could have been an outburst from many students who may have also happened upon Georgia Trust’s list of “places in peril,” where Central State was listed in 2010. After it closed in 2013, it has since been abandoned, resulting in the need for refurbishments. 

“Central State Hospital has continued to suffer from neglect since its full closure in 2013, leading to further deterioration,” said The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. 

As of now, GA has not made any decisions regarding the demolition or refurbishment of any buildings on the Central State Hospital campus. Despite the chatter of the possibility for demolition or remodeling, several have requested information and have since been turned down. David Sofferin, director of public affairs for the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities, has turned down many requests and says that they are trying to address the situation.

“There are no plans to start demolition on any of the buildings at this time,” said Rick Williams, Baldwin County state representative. 

Many students feel that remodeling could greatly benefit the city as a whole. 

“I think that the fences with barbed wire stretched across the top makes Central State look less like a hospital and more like a prison,” said senior marketing major, Shawn McElroy. “I do think it would benefit the community if the buildings were cleaned up because I think that while it is an interesting historical place, the abandoned buildings do not look good to surrounding homeowners.”

Several students believe that Central State Hospital has a big impact on the city as a whole and doing something with it could benefit Milledgeville all across the board.

“I would think it would be best to either renovate central state or demolish it,” said senior sociology major, Emily Overton. “I think it would make Milledgeville look better as a whole if it were cleaned up, because central state doesn’t serve as a good representation for the entire city of Milledgeville.”

Other students think that the abandoned campus should stay as it is and the state should disregard any decisions to remodel or demolish it.

“Honestly, I don’t think it would help the county that much if the buildings were cleaned up,” said sophomore management major, Price Manser. “Having a large mental institution like that is an outdated idea and it doesn’t really serve a purpose in today’s society.”

Any discussion on the remodeling or demolishing of Central State may be halted at this time due to a potential lawsuit from Baldwin County. Commissioners are suing the state of GA because of a “broken” contract. The state of GA has payed hundreds of thousands of dollars for Central State to have fire services, which has stopped in 2020. According to Baldwin County Manager, Carlos Tobar, over $600,000 was due to Baldwin County 2 years ago. 

“I think Baldwin County gets neglected because it’s primarily a lower-income area. Unfortunately, the state chooses to do things for counties where people that make higher incomes reside,” said McElroy. 

 There are many contradictions to this situation, but most feel that Baldwin County deserves justice. 

“If there’s a contract between the state of GA and Baldwin County, and the bylaws of the contract are not being followed, I think Baldwin County has every right to sue,” said Overton.