Project: Re-build Central
In 2011, the Athens-Clarke County voters opted to pass the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax, which allowed Clarke Central High School to remodel and rebuild.
Athens High School, originally built in 1951, was constructed in an “E” arrangement. Years after AHS became Clarke Central High School, the “E” has been changed and added upon.
Photo courtesy of the Clarke County School District
In the following years CCHS will again be renovated.
“What we are going to do is build new freshman and sophomore academies. Then take (the) old wing and completely renovate it,” CCHS Principal Dr. Robbie P. Hooker said.
Last year Athens-Clarke County voters opted to pass the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax, a Georgia law that allows local jurisdiction to use sales tax as funding towards capital improvements. This will allow CCHS to make additions, and renovate the school.
“Right now we are sitting on $28 million (for the renovations) $9 million from SPLOST 3 and the SPLOST 4 will add the additional $19 million,” Hooker said.
In previous SPLOST projects the Board of Education decided to put all the received money into new construction. At CCHS, the projects included, in 2000, the new Media Center, the Terra Gladiatorum, E.B. Mell Auditorium, Miller J. Jordan Jr. Food Court and in 2006, the new west wing.
“We are still having things break down (in the old wing) constantly. We want to do (the renovations) in phases. Maybe start with the freshman academy then to the sophomore academy then move to renovate the old wing from the bottom up,” Hooker said.
A major reason why CCHS wants to build new freshman and sophomore academies in outer buildings is CCHS joining the International Baccalaureate Program, a program that will broaden a student’s education in a more global manner.
“We need the (freshman and sophomore academies) because we are going to be a part IB school the grades will be in different sub-programs,” Hooker said. “(The) eleventh and twelfth grade will be the diploma program, but the ninth and tenth will not be.”
The construction is projected to take three to four years to finish. CCHS expects to begin building the freshman and sophomore academies at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year and start moving classes into the rooms during the following years.
While the old wing is being renovated, the junior and senior classes will be moved into the newly constructed buildings. This way, when the old wing is being renovated students will not have to be placed in trailers.
“At one point, (the BOE) was talking about moving students into ‘educational cottages’ and there would have been as close as 39 to 40 ‘learning cottages’ out there, which wouldn’t have worked,” Hooker said.
The CCSD has also recently purchased the Dearing Ext., as well as Waddell St., roughly 200 yards away from the rear of the Miller J. Jordan Jr. Food Court, with plans to build a preforming arts center.
“(Waddell St.) is where (the) band, orchestra and drama (programs) will be placed and those people will have input on how that will be designed,” Hooker said.
The CCHS administration hopes the renovations will bring a greater appreciation for the learning environment.
“This (school) needs to be a state-of-the-art facility and I think it’s going to be,” Lanoue said. “I am really excited for this project to begin.”
More from Porter McLeod