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GED program helped by demo delay
Altamaha Technical College's GED program has been tossed a lifeline that will give it another several months to find a new home.

The program's current home, the Perry Building on Stonewall Street in Brunswick that also formerly housed several district administration offices for the Glynn County School System, will be demolished as part of a land swap deal between the school system and the city.

In the deal, the school system received land for the new Glynn Middle School property on Lanier Boulevard. Properties given to the city in exchange include the old Glynn Middle School and the Perry Building properties, of which it will take ownership once the structures have been removed.

For the past year, Altamaha Technical College President Lorette Hoover has been searching for a new home somewhere near the Perry Building to maintain easy access for the more than 550 students who are seeking a high school equivalency diploma there.

If a new home is not found, the program will have to move to Altamaha Tech's campus at Golden Isles Career Academy. Hoover fears the program will see a significant drop in enrollment if that happens because most students in the program walk to class.

But finding a new home could be difficult given the program's financial limitations.

Because the program receives only $6,000 annually in grant money to operate in seven counties, Hoover said paying for a location is out of the question. That has made finding a new home difficult.

Hoover was under the impression until this week that her program would have to move when the school system vacated the building this month.

Demolition, however, will likely not begin until spring, said schools superintendent Howard Mann.

"We will leave them in the Perry Building as long as it is operational," Mann said.

The requests for proposals to demolish the building have not been sent out, Mann said. He does not expect work to begin on the project until April at the earliest.

For Hoover, the news offers temporary relief.

"This will buy us some more time," Hoover said.

Both Mann and Brunswick Mayor Bryan Thompson said they support the program and hope to have a solution by spring.

"Hopefully the city and school board can work together to help (the program) find a new home," Thompson said.

With no money to pay a lease or for utilities, a building will have to be donated to the program to keep it in Brunswick. Thompson said that might require some creativity.

"It is tough to find what they need, but I am cautiously optimistic we will be able to work something out," he said.

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