Howard Warner committee to meet Monday
by Sarah Fay Campbell
The committee tasked with recommending a use for the historic Howard Warner School building on Newnan’s Savannah Street will meet Monday at 1 p.m. in the Newnan City Council chambers. The committee will hear an in-depth presentation on the Howard Warner School of Music and Arts. This is one of three proposals for the use of the building.
Loretta Welch gave an overview of her plan at the June meeting of the committee.
Also presenting a request plan was Jennifer Dorrell, who proposed a Montessori school.
Newnan City Councilwoman Cynthia Jenkins would like to see the school house used for the city’s east side community center. The city has $1.5 million in funds from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for a center to serve that area. The major obstacle involved in this request is finding someone to offer the programming.
Dorrell, a school teacher, will not attend Monday's meeting. Newnan Planning and Zoning Director Tracy Dunnavant says the committee is hoping to schedule a time to hear from both Dorrell and Jenkins.
Built in 1935 and expanded in 1955, Howard Warner School, located on Savannah Street southeast of the downtown business district, was Newnan's black high school for many years. The Coweta County School System later used the facilities for administrative offices but moved to the Jackson Street building in 2008 and donated the old school to the city.
Welch or Dorrell would have to come up with a significant amount of money to make their plans work, as the city has been adamant that it does not intend to contribute to private projects.
The two previously-approved proposals, Coweta County Early Childhood Initiative and a RaKoo Enterprises pre-school focused on arts and music, both fizzled out, likely over funding issues.
It is estimated that it will cost $1.75 million to get the aging building up to code and ready for use.
During the June meeting, committee members pressed both applicants on their plans for funding. The intent on Monday is to "get a better understanding" of Welch's project and to "answer any questions," Dunnavant said.