Originally created 12/16/04

Board shows off new offices



Comparing it to a big Christmas gift for downtown Augusta, Mayor Bob Young helped school officials dedicate the new board headquarters Wednesday.

"This is a marvelous reconstruction of this building," the mayor said. "And I was thinking about the parallel in how you changed a building that was a blight on Broad Street that didn't seem to have any future to it all: You took a huge risk in coming downtown, just as you take young lives and you mold them into the shining jewels of the future."

The dedication brought a smile to the face of Superintendent Charles Larke, who had the honor of cutting the red ribbon and opening the four-story building for tours.

About 200 people attended the event, which featured musical selections from the jazz band and chorale from John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School.

The 151,200-square-foot structure allowed the school district to consolidate more than 35 departments that were housed in 18 locations.

More than 200 employees moved downtown to the state-of-the-art facility.

Outgoing board President Jeff Padgett joked about the new, bigger meeting room.

"Certainly, I know the board that is coming is pleased with Dr. Larke's announcement that we will have room for 243 angry parents," he said to laughter. "We've only had room for 50 or so at Heckle Street."

Public Information Director Mechelle Jordan announced Wednesday that the district would be burying a time capsule on the property to commemorate the special day.

Items inside will include the dedication program, a school calendar, a description of offices and a copy of Wednesday's newspaper.

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or greg.rickabaugh@augustachronicle.com.

NEED TO VISIT?

Coming downtown to apply for a teacher's job, attend a tribunal hearing, get an old student record or ask for a public safety report? The building is open, but the front doors aren't yet, so getting inside will be tricky. Here's what school officials recommend:

 •  Park along Broad Street or James Brown Boulevard.

 •  Walk to the back of the building on Ellis Street.

 •  Locate the tower attached to the parking garage.

 •  Go inside and take the elevator (or steps) to the second floor.

 •  Cross the walkway into the building and tell the officer the purpose of your visit.

The office will close Monday for the Christmas holidays.

PHONE NUMBERS

Main: 826-1000

Public Information: 826-1118

Special Education: 826-1132

Deputy Superintendent: 826-1125

Public Safety: 826-1133