Harrington School House Renovation Project Updates
What's Really Behind Those Old Walls?
Amy Roberts, Ex. Dir, St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition
Greg Jacobs, Project Manager, Tidewater Preservation
Mrs. Isadora Hunter, former student who donated land to preserve the schoolhouse
Scott McQuade, President and CEO of Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau
Patty Deveau, President, the Friends of Harrington School, Inc.
On Thursday, December 13, 2012 supporters of the historic Harrington Graded School on St. Simons Island, GA had a chance to see for themselves what's really behind the old walls and under the floorboards of the old schoolhouse when the general contractor Tidewater Preservation (www.tidewaterpreservation,com) conducted investigations to determine exactly what it will take to restore the historic building. Project Manager Greg Jacobs answered questions about the materials and techniques that the African American tradesmen used in the 1920s to build this one room schoolhouse, and about the work his firm will do to restore the building.
"As historic preservation contractors we have a good sense of what went into constructing this building, but until you pull away a board or two you really do not know the exact techniques and craftsmanship which we will need to replicate as part of our restoration," pointed out Jacobs.
Once Tidewater completed their investigations on the 13th, they provided the Friends of Harrington School and the St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition with a final cost estimate for the overall restoration ($325,000). "Until we knew the exact overall cost, we were limited in approaching major funders. Our grassroots supporters have been terrific and their support will continue, but to get the job done more cost-effectively and more efficiently by September 2013 we need to also secure major donations," stated Patty Deveau, President of the Friends of Harrington School.
SSAAHC and Friends ask Glynn County to begin work on Harrington Community Park
In mid-November Amy Roberts made a presentation at the work session of the Glynn County Board of Commissioners asking them to renew their interest in building parking, bathhouses, a pavilion, and trails at the 12 acre Harrington Community Park adjacent to the historic schoolhouse. Shown here (on the right) is her presentation which was well received by the commissioners.
Archaeologist Fred Cook supervised shovel testing at the Harrington Graded School yesterday morning. Former students Ms. Viola Abbott and Emory Rooks attended the dig and explained the aspect of the schoolyard while they were students, covering periods from the 1930s through the 1950s. Five members of the Golden Isles Archaeological Society helped with the shovel testing. Terry Dickson of the Times Union also came by and has written a good story with photographs. See http://jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2012-03-24/story/archaeologists-dig-more-history-historic-st-simons-school