Old school approved to become residences

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Augusta's historic preservation council agreed Thursday night to a businessman's plan to redevelop an empty schoolhouse into a thriving residential facility in Augusta's Summerville neighborhood.

The Augusta Richmond County Historic Preservation Commission unanimously approved the application for a certificate of appropriateness presented by Augusta Capital LLC, a local development group headed by businessman Clay Boardman.

Mr. Boardman's proposal is to redesign the old William Robinson School at Katherine and William streets, building 14 townhouses near the school, which would become 12 condominiums.

The former elementary school was constructed in 1926, but hasn't been used by students since the early 1990s, Mr. Boardman said.

Some at the meeting said they had concerns about the development's meeting the design guidelines of the Summerville area.

Adelle King, who attended the meeting with her husband, Paul King, said she was concerned the design would be too "urban, and Summerville's not urban."

"We just wanted to make sure they conform to the (established) guidelines," Mr. King said, but "overall, I welcome the project. Anything that contributes to Augusta's property tax base is a good thing."

Rob Moon, the board chairman, said the plan was approved because "they followed the guidelines, the design and the site plan. They're keeping with the neighborhood spirit," he said.

Mr. Boardman said he has already been involved in similar renovations at Enterprise Mill .

Construction on the upcoming $7 million to $10 million project can start after developers provide the board with details involving roofing and exterior amenities at the new facility, Mr. Moon said.

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.


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