Saturday, February 2, 2019
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- When it comes to growth in Augusta, there's always a focus on cyber and the downtown area. People in South Augusta are seeing some changes for the better, too.
The Richmond County School Board is breathing new life into a South Augusta neighborhood with a big construction project that's gonna be good for a lot of neighborhoods.
Irby West has lived in South Augusta long enough to see it grow and change.
"This house and the house next door were the only ones out here," said West. He said his home -- then -- was surrounded by pine trees, with just one major road in the area. That was in 1949 and a lot has changed since then.
He was front row when an elementary school was built right across the street from his home on Wheeless Road. All four of his kids went to that Wheeless Road Elementary School.
"I didn't know if they were gonna build another," said West. "I thought they'd start building houses down there really,"
The Richmond County Board of Education is well on its way to building that new school on the same property as the old Wheeless Road Elementary School. It's set to open next school year.
"There's hundred's of children and it'll be real convenient for them I'm telling you," said West.
The Board of Education is closing Rollins Elementary School so some of those students will go to the new Wheeless Road campus, plus kids from Glenn Hills, Terrace Manor, and Wilkinson Gardens. Wheeless Road Elementary School will feed into Murphey Middle School.
"It's gonna help the neighborhood a lot, too," said West.
The Boys and Girls Club is also investing in the area, too. They're opening up a new location a stone's throw from the school on the same road. It's set to open it's doors in September.
While Irby's kids and grandkids are all grown, he knows how big the new school and club are for the for South Augusta.
"It's a big area out here for children," said West. "It'll be a big blessing to some people,"
The Board of Education still has to vote on the rezoning, but with these new schools they'll be opening. It's just a matter of who will be going to them.
With the Boys and Girls Club on Wheeless Road, it's set to open in September. The club will be 26,000 square feet and feature a full gym, game rooms, learning center, and even a laundry room for kids who might not have the ability to do laundry at home. They'll also be serving dinner daily and lunch in the summer, too, when school is out.