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Education program's home uncertain
The future of the Glynn County Academic Support Center, which houses the Adult Literacy Center and a GED program, remains up in the air after the Perry Building on Stonewall Street is razed in June.

Volunteers with the program want to move into the Risley Annex at 2900 Albany St., Brunswick.

But Howard Mann, superintendent of the Glynn County School System, which is not obligated to help the program, would prefer the program move to the old Risley Learning Center at 1800 Albany St.

Sean Williams, lead teacher at the Academic Support Center, along with teacher Bernadette Weiss and volunteers, are asking the school system for help.

They want five classrooms at the mostly abandoned Risley Annex, which only recently underwent a multimillion dollar face lift,

"We are asking for help to continue to educate our citizens in the best possible environment," Williams said. "Fixing generational poverty starts with education."

Weiss added that the location of Risley Annex is ideal. The majority of the students, who live in close proximity to the Perry Building on Stonewall Street, must walk or bike to class.

"The school system doesn't have any legal obligation to this program, but they do have a moral obligation to the education of this community." Weiss said.

The school system wants to continue to help the program, but some officials are unwilling to give it five classrooms in the Risley Annex, where the school system has administrative offices.

It is more than willing, on the other hand, to allow the program to move into the old Risley Learning Center.

Weiss is not happy with that idea. She feels the building is in an unsafe area, has leaks and is infested with rodents.

Mann said the school system would get the building in "first-class shape" by the requested June 23 move-in date. The school system must maintain what is the original Risley campus anyway.

"I have no problem going over there and giving the program all the support needed, within reason, to make it an efficient and effective place for students to be," Mann said.

Mann said Risley Learning Center features plenty of room for growth with its 12 classrooms, an office and a clinic.

At any rate, Mann does not want to mix school personnel and school operations with the adult education programs out of fear of history repeating itself.

He remembers what happened the last time the school system tried something like it.

"We had to build a partition to keep the (adult ed) kids from getting into the instructional area and stop them from disturbing the professional development.

"I would be glad to give it a shot, but I know what the problems will be, because I have experienced them."

Not everyone on the school board agrees with Mann. Members Ingrid Metz and John Madala say the Risley Annex was meant to be a school and should be kept as such.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.



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