Richmond Co. BOE Approves Rightsizing Plan - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Richmond Co. BOE Approves Rightsizing Plan

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Augusta, GA - Changes are on the way for students throughout Richmond County now that the school board took action on which schools will close and which ones will stay open. 

The plan allows the school district to readjust the uneven distribution of students and cut costs.  There was a lot of exchange between Board of Education members during the rightsizing meeting.  Members voted on each school separately.

Nine board members were present.  Member Jack Padgett was not in attendance.  The entire Richmond County School System Rightsizing Plan passed.  The schools affected by the plan are National Hills, Collins, Rollins, Murphy and Sego.  The schools will be closing or reconfigured into new buildings.  Josey and Butler high schools will become 6 through 12 once they merge with Murphey and Sego middle schools.  Monique Braswell, one of the only parents at the meeting, said the board listened to the community and compromised in some areas.

“Hearing what the community had to say about the middle school kids going into the high school building just showed me that they really did take into consideration as many steps as possible,” Braswell said.

Those combined student concerns, like young men preying on even younger girls, was addressed by creating a middle school academy.  Board members said the additional facility will separate students at Butler, but students who take advanced courses will be together. Braswell, who is also a candidate for the Richmond County school board District #2, said the process could have been different.

“I honestly see where we probably didn’t have to close any school,” said Braswell.

The plan will be rolled out in the next couple of years.  Collins closes first, in May.  Those students will go to Wilkinson Gardens, Craig-Houghton and Hornsby.  The Murphey-Josey merger will be a phased transition that is complete by 2017 and the Sego-Butler merger will also be a phased transition through 2019.  National Hills will close next June.

The board will hold two public hearings – March 26 and 27.  The time will be determined later. During those meeting, the board will detail which schools and how many students will be affected.  Once that takes place the decision will be made final by the board.

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