AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – School starts a week from Thursday for some Richmond County students and Augusta’s oldest high school is being upgraded.
“Fabulous building. You ride by it and you can’t even tell it’s a new building. It blends right in with the old historic structure,” said Richmond County school board member and building committee chairman Walter Eubanks
School leaders took a tour Wednesday of a new facility at the Academy of Richmond County.
“Coming out of a pandemic and then coming out of construction at the same time, I’m looking forward to being to exiting those two phases and entering post-pandemic and post-construction. That’s myself and my staff included, everyone, is excited,” said Principal Jason Medlin.
The new building at ARC is about 58,000 square feet, three stories tall, and has 36 classrooms. Nick Dickinson is an alumnus of ARC and the architect of the new structure. He also has a son who graduated from ARC and another who will be a freshman at the school.
He said, “Every project is important to us but having a personal connection both with myself and my children, just really elevated the importance.”
The first floor is dedicated to cyber education and new technologies. The second floor will house half of the English department and all math classes.
Medlin explained, “The third floor, which is our 600 hallway, that’s where our science classes are going to be and the other half of our English department will be housed there as well.”
Construction of the new building took less than two years to complete and has a price tag of about $19 million, but it is finished under budget.
“We did have some supply chain issues during the pandemic and really ongoing right now. Flooring, some stainless steel products, and a handful of others that just weren’t coming in on time so the contractor had to get creative, come up with some temporary solutions so we could get our certificate of occupancy,” said Dickinson.
Some hope the opening of the new wing at ARC will free up space in the older building which is on the list for renovations.
Eubanks added, “But still maintain the character of the old Richmond Academy. It’s going to be an amazing project.”
The second and third floors of the older ARC building will continue to house some classes like social studies according to Medlin. Eubanks said there haven’t been any changes to the start of school plan.