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Richmond County vocational high school plans move ahead

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Construction of a long-awaited vocational high school planned for Richmond County is expected to be bid in about 90 days.

An artist's rendering shows the planned design for a vocational high school in Richmond County. The school would be built on the site of the school system's transportation department.   Special
Special
An artist's rendering shows the planned design for a vocational high school in Richmond County. The school would be built on the site of the school system's transportation department.

"The project is 90 percent designed," said Jeff Baker with Hanscomb GMK, a firm assisting with several school projects.

The school should be finished by mid-year 2012 and work could get started within 30 days after a bid is awarded, Baker said.

The project, officials say, has recently kicked into high gear but was first presented to voters as a special purpose local option sales tax project several years ago.

The magnet school would go where the school system's transportation department is located on Augusta Technical College's main campus. Officials hope to have the transportation department and its bus depot moved later this year to a new site at Lumpkin Road and Mike Padgett Highway.

The idea is to have curriculum at the vocational magnet pair up with studies at Augusta Tech.

"Everything we offer here at Augusta Tech will basically be available to students who go to that (vocational school) program," said Augusta Tech President Terry Elam, noting that in their junior and senior year students of the vocational high school could start taking classes at Augusta Tech as well.

Elam said the idea of a vocational magnet high school in Richmond County has been talked about since the early 2000s.

The cost of the project has been budgeted at $25 million, Baker said.

Elam said that until recently the vocational school idea had been placed on the back burner.

"The big issue was getting the buses out of there," Elam said of not being able to build the vocational school until a new location was determined for the school system's transportation department. "So that was finally resolved."

Richmond County school board Vice President Alex Howard said he's glad to see the project moving ahead.

"It's something we need to do," he said. "I think we need to go ahead and focus our efforts on it."

Howard said the new high school will be about 130,000 square feet and will house about 800 students. He said it will offer courses not only in auto mechanics and the culinary arts but also information technology and marketing.

Elam said the time frame for completion will ultimately be up to Richmond County school officials, but "our hope is that within two years this school will be open, and we want it to be an integral part of what we're doing."

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msgret92
121
Points
msgret92 02/25/10 - 07:07 am
0
0
How much could be saved by

How much could be saved by the votech students performing routine maintenance on rcboe vehicles and buses?

atsugua13
0
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atsugua13 02/25/10 - 07:49 am
0
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msgret....a lawsuit just

msgret....a lawsuit just waiting to spring up

corgimom
32627
Points
corgimom 02/25/10 - 08:10 am
0
0
This is a fabulous idea,

This is a fabulous idea, should have been done 30 years ago, but better late than never!

OIC
25
Points
OIC 02/25/10 - 08:17 am
0
0
We don't need another high

We don't need another high school. If these children want to learn auto mechanics let them do it after hours at their parents expense. We have too many other problems to address. When we get back to a normal economy and do not have to furlough teachers then you can talk about additional magnet schools.

OIC
25
Points
OIC 02/25/10 - 08:17 am
0
0
We don't need another high

We don't need another high school. If these children want to learn auto mechanics let them do it after hours at their parents expense. We have too many other problems to address. When we get back to a normal economy and do not have to furlough teachers then you can talk about additional magnet schools.

Riverman1
84226
Points
Riverman1 02/25/10 - 08:52 am
0
0
A vocational school will help

A vocational school will help keep kids in school and lead them into professions where they can realistically hope to find good jobs. This school will be much more important for Richmond Cty. than the other magnet schools.

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 02/25/10 - 09:33 am
0
0
another high

another high school?!?!?!?!?!?, were will the students come from??? if i am not mistaken richmond county is suffering from decreased enrollment, hence the need to allow those who should be expelled to be sent to the knucklehead....oops i mean the alternative school to maintain present enrollment leaves(gotta keep that state/federal education funding coming in)..so its my guess they will be coming from other schools, is it safe to believe the school board will do something sensible for a change and close a high school.....well on 2nd thought probably not since the vocational school is "supposed" to be a magnet school there won't be any "richmond cnty vocational school" football/basketball/wrestling or track teams, so that will be an excuse to keep all of the "under-perfoming" high schools open...gotta protect those sports programs at all costs, even if it means taxing the poor homeowners more and more (i am not talking about the the splost funds to build the school, i am talking about the increased taxes that will be needed for day-to-day operations-more teachers, parapros, bus drivers, and other support staff necessary)

deekster
24
Points
deekster 02/25/10 - 09:59 am
0
0
More "concrete sales" for mi

More "concrete sales" for mi familia. All I want to do is "dip my beak" into your project.

deekster
24
Points
deekster 02/25/10 - 10:01 am
0
0
Look at all of the money ARC

Look at all of the money ARC could save if we just elected a "design consultant/project analyst".

Little Lamb
46074
Points
Little Lamb 02/25/10 - 02:55 pm
0
0
RM and LifeLong both have

RM and LifeLong both have good points. I support the concept of this high school, and locating it near Augusta Tech is a good plan. But, let's face it, Augusta's high schools are way below capacity. We need to pair the opening of this high school with the closing of another.

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