New Richmond Co. high school under construction

New Richmond Co. high school under construction

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News 12 at 11 O'Clock / Friday, March 2, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Take a ride out behind Augusta Technical College, and you'll see a new building.

It's going to be a high school, but not like any high school you ever attended. Richmond County Career and Technical Magnet School will teach class more like a technical college.

"Automotive technology, banking, finance, or information technology," said Richmond County School Board member Jack Padgett, listing off just some of the courses the new school will offer.

Its point: to teach high school kids skills for the real world.

"Which is going to move a lot toward [giving] students the ability to go to work and not having to go through several more years of school," Padgett explained.

The $22 million school, set to open this fall, has more advanced technology than any high school in the area.

"If you have a cloudy day outside, then the artificial light level will be brought up automatically so the faculty and administration here doesn't have to monitor that," architect Nick Dickinson said.

Its technology like smart lighting that will save the county money.

"We're designing products in here that will last a long time and will be low maintenance costs for the school," Dickinson explained.

That saved money is your money.

"Part of [the school] was funded through SPLOST 2, and the rest of it through SPLOST 3," Padgett said.

Padgett is hoping voters will approve the education SPLOST on March 6. It would be an extension of the one-cent tax you pay now, and he says it would go toward future construction projects.

"The next phase we will be rebuilding all the educational portions of Butler High School and Laney High School, which are both $20 million projects," he said.