Students from area Boys & Girls Clubs shop for school, fill their carts and learn to shop on a budget with a generous gift card
The Muscogee County School District is selling a former school.
During its monthly meeting Monday night, the Muscogee County School Board authorized superintendent David Lewis to accept the offer of $850,000 from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley to buy the former Edgewood Elementary School.
Without public discussion, the board voted 6-0. John Thomas of District 2 and Frank Myers of District 8 were absent. Laurie McRae of District 5 abstained because her husband is on the local Boys & Girls Clubs board.
In May 2013, the board unanimously approved the recommendation from John Phillips, then-MCSD’s interim superintendent, to close Edgewood Elementary School and Marshall Middle School. The closings were designed to save $9.5 million as the district tried to fill its projected $40 million budget deficit for the next fiscal year. It had $291 million in expense requests but $251 million in estimated revenue.
Marshall now houses MCSD’s alternative school programs, which previously were in Edgewood.
In an emailed interview Tuesday with the Ledger-Enquirer, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley president and CEO Rodney Close said, “Our board of directors and staff were very excited to hear that the MCSD board unanimously approved the sale of Edgewood. Over the years, Boys & Girls Clubs has had a great partnership with the MCSD board, superintendent, transportation department and MCSD staff. Our goal has always been to be a quality after-school provider that is affordable for all youth and teens. This unanimous approval is another example of how this partnership has enabled the growth of our organization so we are able to reach more youth and teens in our community and provide a safe environment to help them excel in school and plan for their future.”
The B&GCCV plans to move the East Columbus Boys & Girls Club, 1429 Morris Road, into the former Edgewood school, which is approximately 1 mile away at 3835 Forrest Road.
“The current east club has been located in the Edgewood Community since the early 1960s and today serves approximately 500 boys and girls annually between the ages of 6-12 years old with an average daily attendance of 210 children,” Close said. “We have outgrown our current east club location as we have over 100 youth on a waiting list.”
The only remaining use for Edgewood this school year has been the location of the Sara Spano PTA Clothing Bank, which is separate from the school district and run by the local PTA council. The clothing bank will be allowed to remain in Edgewood, Close said.
“The work that Sara Spano PTA Clothing Bank has done for the MCSD is amazing, and we plan to make sure that they are located on the premises,” Close said. “They are in the same business of helping kids and families, so we will look forward to partnering with them at our future site.”
The goal is to move into Edgewood in time for the summer program, which starts at the end of May, then sell the east club’s current building, Close said.
In addition to the east club, the B&GCCV serves approximately 2,300 children in the North Columbus club at 1309 29th St., the J. Barnett Woodruff South Columbus club at 3200 Cusseta Road, The Club at 200 Clover Ave., and the Fox Elementary club at 600 38th St.
“Moving the east club to the Edgewood school site would not only allow us to serve those on that waiting list, but would also allow us to open a teen center that will serve (100) youth ages 13-18 and provide them a safe place to go after school,” Close said. “Currently, we have two other teen programs at other Boys & Girls Clubs (North Columbus and J. Barnett Woodruff South Columbus), which have been very successful.”
Close added, “My vision for the Edgewood site is for this location to be a one-stop shop that serves youth, teens and families with a career path into the workforce, where everyone wins.”
Mark Rice, 706-576-6272, @MarkRiceLE.