Published Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Citizens again look at future of Warner building

From STAFF REPORTS

news@newnan.com

The volunteer citizen committee charged with determining the best use for the former Howard Warner School on Newnan’s Savannah Street is back in business after the group chosen to develop the property abandoned the effort.

Last spring the committee recommended the Newnan City Council adopt a project for the school developed by a group led by Shellie Hardee that would develop the property as the RAKoo School of Creative Learning & Artistic Expression. RAKoo is an organization headed by Hardee.

The effort to preserve and reopen the Howard Warner School has been on hold following word that Shellie Hardee had left town and would not be able to continue the work.

At the time, Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips said the committee would begin working early in 2013 to find another solution.

Newnan currently has no funds earmarked for rehabilitation or upkeep of the property.

As proposed uses for the school were sought and studied last year, committee members kept potential funding for each project a priority.

Before the Coweta County and City of Newnan schools were integrated around 1969, the Howard Warner School — built in 1935 — served as the city of Newnan’s African-American high school.

It closed in 1969 and was used beginning in the 1970s as the central administrative office for the Coweta County Board of Education.

When the school board moved its administrative offices to the current Jackson Street location, the Howard Warner building became the school system’s curriculum office.

After the school board moved all remaining curriculum offices from Howard Warner to its present location on Werz Industrial Boulevard, the school board donated the facility to the city of Newnan.

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