Richmond County schools halfway to property goal

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Two old Richmond County school system properties have been sold; one has been leased; and three others, including the old John S. Davidson School on Telfair Street, remain on the market.

The system had hoped to earn as much as $1.5 million when it put the properties on the market last year. School board member Jack Padgett, who is a vice chairman on the board's building committee, said this week that the system has achieved nearly half of that goal.

Of the three properties with no current prospects -- valued at about $850,000 total -- the old Davidson School has the greatest potential, Mr. Padgett said.

"I'm seeing that Davidson property as being kind of a diamond in the rough," he said, noting how work on the Augusta Canal in that area makes the site more attractive to a would-be investor.

Recently, the Augusta Canal Authority asked the Richmond County school board for an easement of about an acre of land at the old Davidson site for a walking trail along the canal. The board agreed.

Mr. Padgett said the area also should become more marketable once a new judicial center and library open.

"It's the nicest piece of property we have for sale," Mr. Padgett said, but he noted it would still take someone with a "deep purse" and a good development idea to pull it off.

The school, built in the 1930s, has been appraised at $360,000, and although it has a sturdy brick construction, Mr. Padgett said roof repair could prove costly.

Mr. Padgett said the school system has sold two properties -- the Martha Lester School on Broad Street, circa 1930s, and the Floyd Graham School in Hephzibah, built in the 1940s -- totaling nearly $500,000.

He said Martha Lester sold soon after the bid process started a year ago. Floyd Graham sold about the same time to the city of Hephzibah, which plans to tear down the school and use the site as a parking lot for a city cemetery.

He said that about four months ago a church group agreed to a lease-to-purchase contract at the old Hornsby School on Sand Bar Ferry Road.

"They're using it as a church and wanted it for the classrooms and all," Mr. Padgett said.

The A.C. Griggs School on Grand Boulevard and the old Sue Reynolds School on Wrightsboro Road remain on the market.

"I've had two or three people look at it (A.C. Griggs) that would like to have it as a gift for a nonprofit for vocational ed to work in the community," Mr. Padgett said. "But there again, the requests on that have kind of gone by the side also."

Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3851 or preston.sparks@augustachronicle.com.

THE PROPERTIES

SOLD

- Martha Lester School

- Floyd Graham School

LEASED

- Old Hornsby School

ON THE MARKET

- Old John S. Davidson School

- A.C. Griggs School

- Old Sue Reynolds School

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LadyCisback
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LadyCisback 12/30/09 - 04:31 am
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and still we get no raises,

and still we get no raises, still getting furloughed and no bonuses.. not to mention the lack of parent support and the misbehaving hoodlums that come to school to waste time!!

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 12/30/09 - 08:18 am
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ladycisback, i feel sorry for

ladycisback, i feel sorry for you...i am sure ms. cain has all of the answers, theuy can sure find millions to build football stadiums/b-ball gymnasiums. they have to keep the hoodlums in the classrooms, because it's all about the money...ms cain and the other members of the dysfunctional, short-sighted and selfish school board don't care about education, classroom discipline or anything else. without enuff "butts in the seats" they stand to lose millions in educational funding from the state/federal gov'ts that's why they do little if anything other than warnings for swagging clothes, or impliment the learning model used at davidson/johnson/walker. to do either one, would mean a loss of about 1/2 of the student population. because i am sure you know johnson/davidson are the only 2 high schools that met ayp...but the way ms. cain tells it everything is fantastic in the world of shangra-la, which is the richmond county school system...but ms. cisback i tend to agree with your assessment they are hoodlum/hoodrats and are not there to learn and ms. cain is well aware of it.....

JustMe
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JustMe 12/30/09 - 09:14 am
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Excuse me, but I do believe

Excuse me, but I do believe that you all voted on the money for the stadiums, etc. Next time watch what you vote for. You all whine, and whine and whine about stadiums but the 1 cent special option sales tax (SPLOST) was voted through for the stadiums. The federal goverment is the one that started no child left behind....this is not Richmond counties fault. lifelongresident I am not from GA. but I used to live here and read this paper everyday and all you do is complain and have no idea.

AnotherPerspective
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AnotherPerspective 12/30/09 - 09:50 am
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lifelong, your obsession with

lifelong, your obsession with Ms. Cain worries me.

Venus
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Venus 12/30/09 - 10:52 am
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Thanks AnotherPer and JustMe.

Thanks AnotherPer and JustMe. I have asked life long resident to speak to the Board and the community reference his concerns with the Board building stadiums. I have informed him/her that the WHOLE community voted for SPLOST and if he had a problem with the stadiums please address his concerns with the community as a whole and the Board. I can't change the fact and will not go against what was voted for by the community. Second NCLB we have no other choice than play by the rules. When we put children out he/she complains if we keep them in he/she complains. If fact if you look back at his/her post they never have anything good to sya about our community. There are many people working hard to improve our community and schools. I have no control over how much money is given to the system. I have no control over what we are told we can use the money for. I have no control over the fact when the system is cut we are told to get it from the tax payers which I happen to be. Lifelongerresidient obssession with me has me concerned that they love me so much all I get is free press from them. Again I have said I'm willing to sit down with him/her but they have refused to let me

Venus
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Venus 12/30/09 - 11:06 am
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address his/her concerns. If

address his/her concerns. If he expects me to short change Laney or Josey students or any other students because of his/her misguided information or hate for the staff or teachers they have a serious problems. I will not allow him/her to guide my decisions. The children of this community have been in substandard school since 1990 or longer. For years no repairs or building of schools, Laney went years without a stadium to call home. Bathroom without doors or running water, not equip to handle today technology. So now we are trying to give our children and this community something to be proud of and all the can do is complain about Laney's football field and gym. Again I ask them to tell Laney parents, staff and the community why they don't deserve the stadium and a new gym. I will continue to stand by Laney and do all I can to help get the graduation rate up and for them to achive all the goals set by state and federal laws. If lifelong has a problem with that he/she has a problem with the city of Augusta, state and federal government and the community. He/she just seem to pick at people just like a child in fact lifelong is worse. A grown person

Venus
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Venus 12/30/09 - 11:10 am
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nick picking at everything

nick picking at everything that goes on in this community. Never nothing postive to say about anything. Well Lifelong I live here and I'm going to do the best I can and do my part to make Augusta and RCS the best they can be for all the people of Augusta. What are you willing to do? Please stop picking on our children, our community and leave Laney/Josey students, gym and football field alone. I think you have beat this horse to death one too many times. Bottom line the coummuntiy voted for it and they deserve it!

naturehazard
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naturehazard 12/30/09 - 11:11 am
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Lifelong is pretty irritating

Lifelong is pretty irritating most of the time. But Ladycisback, yosemite, does it really matter, and a few others are the worse.

naturehazard
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naturehazard 12/30/09 - 11:12 am
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Why are you complaining about

Why are you complaining about RC getting rid of old schools. Bringing extra tax base into the county.

jbfj
39
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jbfj 12/30/09 - 01:28 pm
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Hey Venus: Can you tell all

Hey Venus: Can you tell all of us Augustans what positive things there are to say about Augusta at this point in time? I would like a short list if you don't mind. The children are picked on because they are clones of their sorry parents, that's what's wrong with Augusta. No respect for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Most of these kids probably have never seen the inside of a school.

AnotherPerspective
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AnotherPerspective 12/30/09 - 04:51 pm
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Positive things? How about

Positive things? How about making 10s of millions in cuts without any layoffs? How about two schools recognized nationally? How about the expansion of the magnet program? How about greater accountability by piloting the state's new teacher evaluation? Should I continue?

DesireChange
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DesireChange 12/30/09 - 04:53 pm
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Still waiting on the list of

Still waiting on the list of good things about the Richmond County School System. I lived there until it was time for my kids to go to school then we moved to avoid having children that were left behind. Richmond county schools suck because there are too many sorry parents using it as free childcare while they sit in section 8 housing sucking up all the handouts.

ron_rlw
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ron_rlw 12/30/09 - 04:56 pm
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Desire ... you should have

Desire ... you should have tried the magnet schools ... they are all better than the schools in CC.

DesireChange
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DesireChange 12/30/09 - 05:07 pm
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Those spots are already

Those spots are already reserved....there are only so many students allowed in those each year. When parents discipline their kids at home it would help when it is time to learn at school. My friends that love teaching state if there were consequences for misbehaving it would help everyone involved. Many parents enjoy the 2 minutes it takes to procreate but are not as attentive to the 18 years to raise/love the child.

AnotherPerspective
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AnotherPerspective 12/30/09 - 05:11 pm
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Desire, are the schools any

Desire, are the schools any better in Columbia County? Or, is it that families in Columbia County have two parents, allowing one to stay with the kids and give them more attention? The schools aren't any better. Richmond just has more challenges. Put the kids from Richmond in Columbia schools, they will still struggle. It's not the school system. Give Richmond a chance and ignore the hype.

ron_rlw
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ron_rlw 12/30/09 - 05:13 pm
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Desire ... I have now

Desire ... I have now successfully gotten all 4 of my children through the interview process at Davidson. For those parents who are willing to put forth a little effort ... the interview process can be learned. Ask a current Davidson student or parent what is involved.

Patty-P
3521
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Patty-P 12/30/09 - 07:52 pm
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The schools in RC are

The schools in RC are different from any school system I have ever seen anywhere. Very unprofessional and way behind standards. Where else have you seen a high school principal with ghetto rap music as a ring tone on his cell phone? I couldn't believe my ears. (GHHS)

ron_rlw
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ron_rlw 12/30/09 - 07:56 pm
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Patty ... RC has the best and

Patty ... RC has the best and the worst of schools. The difference isn't in the teaching staff ... it's in the parents and school adminstration that allows the low standards.

Patty-P
3521
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Patty-P 12/30/09 - 08:08 pm
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ron rlw...I agree there are a

ron rlw...I agree there are a few good schools out there. I also took my rising 9th grader to orientation at Davidson. The atmosphere is different and the goals clearly seem to be different. But I still see a HUGE change of climate from Hilton Head/Bluffton to Augusta schools.

AnotherPerspective
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AnotherPerspective 12/30/09 - 09:01 pm
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Ummm.... Hilton Head per

Ummm.... Hilton Head per capita is one of the wealthiest places to live in the country. I'm betting Augusta schools look nothing Beverly Hills schools either. Again, if you get past the hype, Richmond County isn't nearly as bad as real estate agents elsewhere would like you to believe. There are good teachers here. There are bad teachers here. Painting the school system with one broad stroke is rediculous.

DesireChange
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DesireChange 12/30/09 - 09:04 pm
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Point well taken....Just

Point well taken....Just couldn't risk my kids going to Craig Horton, Hornsby, or East Augusta.

Patty-P
3521
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Patty-P 12/30/09 - 09:14 pm
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Actually, Bluffton schools

Actually, Bluffton schools had no more money than any other school system when I was living there. That's still no excuse for the lack of professionalism that I have seen here.

SVSBORIS
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SVSBORIS 12/31/09 - 12:18 am
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maybe it's about households

maybe it's about households and inadequate parenting...everything is about the teachers giving something up- I haven't seen anyone ask the parents to make any sacrifices yet...they have the children for years before they come to schools unprepared and exhibiting poor social skills...maybe Columbia county does better because they have higher standards of living which are achived by having two parent households where the parents are educated...nah it can't be that

Patty-P
3521
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Patty-P 12/31/09 - 09:37 am
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SVBORIS: I agree on the

SVBORIS: I agree on the inadequate parenting part, but not having a two parent household does not necessarily cause the child to fail in school. Parents have to be involved in their childrens education, but the educational 'system' has to hold up their end of the deal too. The principals and teachers really need to raise the standards and quit letting the kids just 'get by'. For the 3 years I have lived in Augusta, most of the S.Augusta middle and high schools have not met standards. I have to wonder how prepared the students are for college when they graduate from high school.

ron_rlw
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ron_rlw 12/31/09 - 09:46 am
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Patty ... I agree with you on

Patty ... I agree with you on most of the public schools in Richmond County. That is the reason why either sent our kids to one of the magnet schools or a priviate school. The magnet schools are difficult to get into ... but well worth the extra time and effort. One of the things about the Magnet schools is that the parents have to get involved to get their kids into the school and at least at Davidson, some after school activities are required ... again requirying the parents to at least get involved in their kids transportation. I really like the fact that RC gave us that choice.

DAMY46
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DAMY46 12/31/09 - 09:52 am
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If they want to sell the

If they want to sell the three vacant schools why don't they list them with commercial realestate brokers? They could find three brokers and list one property with each one of them...I bet they would sell. Pay the 10% broker fee (if they sell) and move on. my 2 cents

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