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 will use the historically black school as classroom space. (Alyssa Pointer/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Marietta moves ahead with plan to renovate segregation-era school

Marietta City Schools leaders on Tuesday voted to name a construction-at-risk manager for its project to incorporate two historically black school sites into the system’s new central office complex. 

School board members voted Tuesday to select Parrish Construction Group as the construction manager-at-risk for the Lemon Street Project. The construction manager-at-risk would deliver the school system’s project for a guaranteed maximum price and would assume any additional costs if required. An estimated cost of the project has not been determined. 

Parrish Construction Group will work with the architect to determine the scope of the project, said Chuck Gardner, Marietta City Schools chief operations officer. 

The school system’s project calls for renovating the existing Lemon Street Grammar School. It will house classroom space for the 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.

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The system’s new central office building will be constructed across the street from the grammar school on the site where the Lemon Street High School once stood. It will feature architecture inspired by the elements of the high school building, which was demolished in 1967.

The old Lemon Street Grammar School shown here in 2019. 
Photo: Cobb Landmarks

It will also include a museum offering an overview of the Marietta City School System from its founding in 1892 to the present, including information on the segregation era, which ended in 1967 when all Cobb schools were integrated.

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 Board of Education.

RELATEDMarietta schools system plans office at historically black school site

Gardner said Parrish Construction Group will work with the architect and the KSU representatives to come up with a proposed floor plan for the museum portion of the project. Parrish will come back to the school board and ask for its approval of a guaranteed maximum price for the project. 

If everything runs smoothly, renovations to the grammar school could start next summer. Once that’s done, the school system can start building the new central office building. 

“We’re really excited,” Gardner said. “We think this contractor’s got a lot of experience in doing renovations of a historic context and of historical significance. That’s why we feel like they are a good fit for this particular project.”

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