New gyms, ball fields, and theaters on the way for some Richmond County schools

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019
News 12 at 11

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- On Tuesday night, The Richmond County School Board voted to close five schools, repurpose one, and open two more.

News 12 learned the school district is also adding on to some of its older schools with amenities like new gyms, additional classrooms, a theater, and new ball fields.

The school district is trying to make sure older schools get a piece of the area's growth, too.

Like the magnolia trees lining the driveway of the Academy of Richmond County, ARC has a long history between its brick and mortar.

As old as the magnolias are, the school is turning over a new leaf with some welcome renovations.

"We'll be increasing the amount of students that can attend, and we'll be updating a lot of the buildings and the athletic fields over there,” said Kaden Jacobs, the spokesman for the Richmond County School District.

The project is going to bid in April but it's not the only thing in the works for Richmond County schools.

Just down the street from ARC off of 15th street, Murphy Middle School is getting its own gym and athletic fields. Right now, the school shares those facilities with T.W. Josey High School.

"They need their own fields so we're working to build facilities so they can have their own athletic fields,” said Jacobs.

It's not just schools in metro Augusta getting some TLC either. Cross Creek High School is getting a new gym, and so is Hephzibah, plus a black box theater.

"We know that not everybody can go straight home or has an after-school activity so whether it's sports or clubs at school anything we can do to keep the kids focused," said Jacobs.

While some of these projects won't be finished for another year, the goal is to make sure all schools have state of the art facilities, countywide.

The work doesn't stop there either. Garrett Elementary and Lake Forest Hills Elementary just got new classrooms, and other schools are in the process of getting those too.

It's all paid for with SPLOST dollars, so all of the projects in the works will be funded from SPLOST Phase Five.