GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The City of Greensboro is looking to make changes to an old building in East Greensboro after it was deemed surplus by the Guilford County School Board.

For the past five years, Hampton Elementary University Partnership Magnet in East Greensboro has sat and rotted since a tornado tore through the building in April 2018.

Since the tornado’s destruction, the district has tried to find ways to bring the building back to its normal state but found it to be a burden. In May 2019, district officials wanted the building closed and deemed it a surplus.

Since then, the district tried to sell the land to Guilford County Commissioners in June of 2022 for market value, but they denied it.

During a Guilford County Board of Education meeting Tuesday, the board members unanimously voted to transfer the land to the City of Greensboro.

“I do know that vacant property, boarded-up property, property that has been damaged over the years has a profound negative impact on the community,” said Board Chair of District 8 Deena Hayes.

On Wednesday, Greensboro Assitant City Manager Nasha McCray said the city hopes to make the land into something East Greensboro will love with lots of greenery, open public space and a greenway.

“Being able to turn something like an asset in the community that has a rich history into an asset that’s for future generations. This is a really good opportunity to do that,” McCray said.

Before any plans start on the acres of land, McCray said they want to have several community forums that will allow residents in the Cottage Grove Community to tell officials what they want to see out of the space.

“I want to give back to the community what they gave me, and that’s why we work so hard together with the city to get this effort done. In a matter where it’s more than a walk trail. I want to create dreams,” said Allen “Dale” Hall, lead resident for Cottage Grove Neighborhood Association.

Hall said he wants to see a community center where children can have programs to learn before and after school and even have mentorship programs to keep them off the street.

“I think if we have some type of facility that can nourish them, help them grow healthy and get a better chance at seeing more than crime,” Hall said.

The land won’t officially transfer until the Greensboro City Council puts it on the agenda and approves it.

There are no set dates for any community forums yet, but officials hope soon they can collaborate with community members to come up with a plan everyone can love.