ANDERSON, S.C.-South Fant School of Early Education’s long legacy of serving at-risk students is coming to an end as a new mission emerges.

Earlier this year, Anderson School District 5 Superintendent Tom Wilson told staff at South Fant, this would be the last year as a pre-school for at-risk children.

“South Fant is going to be repurposed for an instructional center,” Wilson said. “It’s going to house our social workers, our mental health counselors, some folks involved in our disciplinary process.”

The principal of South Fant, Dr. Anthony Ware said the announcement was “A shock, we didn’t see it coming.”

Some of the student’s families agree.

“I know it’s very heartbreaking for some students because they have to leave this family or close-knit friendships that they had, to try and rebuild some more,” Sibling of a South Fant student, Eveyonna Williams said.

Anderson City Councilman Tony Stewart thinks the school should stay.

“I think when you take schools out of neighborhoods, it takes a lifeline out of neighborhoods,” Stewart said.

Stewart says he has multiple concerns with the decision, “South Fant has been the longest standing school that has served African American children for over 150 years.”

He also says the school specialized in teaching at-risk children and doesn’t want to lose that focus during the transition.

Wilson disagrees, “Change is not easy for all, but the students are going to be better off in a traditional elementary school. That’s been proven over and over again.”

Wilson believes the new purpose for south fant will be a success…

“It’s a way for us to utilize space more effectively and I think it’s going to be good for those kids and good for our community,” Wilson said.

Wilson says nobody at the school lost their job. All the teachers and staff have been placed at another school and the school district will still own the building.

The last official day for South Fant school will be June 2.