Statesboro one of eight finalists in America’s Best Communities Competition

Chyna James

Statesboro was announced as one of eight finalists in a $10 million campaign, America’s Best Communities (ABC) Competition, and received a prize grant to aid in the creation of the Blue Mile.

The America’s Best Communities (ABC) Competition motivates smaller towns and cities to come up with strategies to revitalize their community. Statesboro was awarded a $100,000 prize grant from the sponsors of the competition, which serves as an aid to bring their plans to fruition on the Blue Mile, Statesboro’s revitalization goal.

According to downtown Statesboro’s website, the Blue Mile is the one-mile stretch of US Highway 301 South, or South Main Street, bridging historic downtown to the campus of Georgia Southern University.

Elena McClendon, office manager for the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, said the main goals of the project have been how to make Main Street great again, and how to bring Georgia Southern students downtown.

“This is the history of our community,” McClendon said. “We want to make our downtown great again.”

There are plenty of major projects in place for the development plan, including arches to greet visitors upon entering the Blue Mile, utility poles with the Blue Mile logo and a statue of Blind Willie McTell, the Piedmont blues singer who wrote the song “Statesboro Blues.”

To view Statesboro’s official master redevelopment plan, visit

The top three winners of the competition will be announced in April 2017. To learn more about Statesboro’s revitalization strategies, as well as those of other communities in the competition, visit