The Georgia Trust

2006 PLACES IN PERIL: OLD HAWKINSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL

The Story: Built in 1936, the Old Hawkinsville High School served as a neighborhood school for Pulaski County until 1976. Since that time, the local schools have continued to use the building for after-school events.

Threat: As more and more communities build new schools on vacant land on the outskirts of town, schools such as the Old Hawkinsville High School are falling into disrepair, and many towns are having trouble finding new uses for such large structures. The Pulaski County Board of Education has done its best to maintain the building, but due to state budget restrictions, are finding their maintenance funds running out. While the school board and several local organizations all would like to see the building saved and reused, if a new use or influx of funds for preservation and ongoing maintenance are not found within the next two years, the building may be demolished.

Solution: For the Old Hawkinsville High School, development of a preservation and use plan is the next step. As more people return to intown neighborhoods that are still rebuilding their educational system, reusing historic schools, such as the Old Hawkinsville High School, is often the linchpin of the area’s revitalization. Once rehabilitated and updated for today’s needs, many in larger communities are ideal new homes for local charter schools. Other communities have adapted former school buildings into cultural centers, non-profit offices or loft apartments. Many can take advantage of the Council of Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI) guidelines, which the Georgia Department of Education could adopt to balance regulations and incentives for school rehabilitation with those for new school construction and permit additional funding for rehabilitation efforts.

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