Constructed in 1909, with expansions during the 1920s and in 1954, the Oconee Street School served Athens as an elementary school for over sixty years. Following school consolidation in 1975, the building was shuttered. The property was occupied for a brief period in the 1980s, during which time some insensitive rehabilitations were undertaken. The recent rehabilitation focused on window restoration, reconditioning historic entryways, and significant masonry repair on the exterior, returning the interior spaces to their original volume, and reimagining the classrooms as offices, conference rooms, and collaboration spaces. Protected by a conservation easement held by the Georgia Trust, and utilizing state and federal tax credits, the Oconee School proves the value in preserving community landmarks for new uses.
Excellence in Rehabilitation Awards recognize projects that make compatible use of a building through repair, alterations or additions while preserving features of the property that convey its historic value.