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Marietta awards $3.5M contract to renovate historic black school

6/14/2019 — Marietta, Georgia — The exterior of the old Lemon Street Grammar School, located at 350 Lemon Street, in Marietta, Friday, June 14, 2019. The Marietta City School System has announced it will use the historically black school for classrooms. (Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com)
6/14/2019 — Marietta, Georgia — The exterior of the old Lemon Street Grammar School, located at 350 Lemon Street, in Marietta, Friday, June 14, 2019. The Marietta City School System has announced it will use the historically black school for classrooms. (Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com)

A historically black elementary school in Marietta that closed nearly 50 years ago will soon be revived for 21st century students.

The Marietta City School System will renovate the Lemon Street Grammar School for students enrolled in the district’s Performance Learning Center, which allows students who may have jobs or children to attend school on a flexible schedule.

School board members on Tuesday awarded Parrish Construction Group $3.48 million for the renovation project.

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Plans call for replacing all doors and windows and installing new plumbing and electrical systems, fire sprinklers and alarm systems, security systems and the technology required for the school system to operate the building. Crews will also install new asphalt, sidewalk, fencing and landscaping. The district said the renovations will begin in July and should be done by January.

The grammar school opened in 1951 and closed in 1971. It served as the home of the Hattie G. Wilson Library until the county shut it down in January 2013. The school system has been using the space as a warehouse.

Another piece of the district’s project is the construction of its new central office complex across the street from the old school. That building will be located on the site of the historic Lemon Street High School that was demolished in 1967.

RELATEDMarietta schools system plans office at historically black school site

The central office building will feature architecture inspired by the elements of the former high school and a museum offering an overview of Marietta City Schools from its founding in 1892 to the present.

The museum will be assembled in conjunction with Kennesaw State University's Department of Museums, Archives and Rare Books. The building will also have a community meeting room and meeting space for the school board.

A dip in projected Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenue forced the district to delay construction and prioritize projects.

Chuck Gardner, Marietta City Schools chief operations officer, previously said that since the building is delayed, the system will place museum items in the renovated grammar school until its permanent space at the central office is ready.

PHOTOSHistoric Lemon Street Grammar School tour before renovations


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