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Academy of Richmond County—1926 Campus

Academy of Richmond County

Academy of Richmond County
Rebecca Rogers

The Academy of Richmond County—1926 Campus is a fine example of the use of Academic Gothic style for a 1926 city high school.  The school on its 30-acre campus reflects what one expected a school to look like at the time.  Its impressive main building has design links to the past and to other academic institutions, mainly colleges.  Constructed to replace the previous Academy of Richmond County on Telfair Street, the main building retains much of its original material and form with its Gothic detailing, pointed-arch entrance portals, corner buttresses, contrasting materials, and brick patterning. It was an important work of the local Augusta-based architectural firm Scroggs and Ewing.  The architecturally significant 1950s additions to the school are in the Modern or International style. Major George Butler, the principal from 1909-27, described the school in 1927 as “second to no high school in the South in terms of facilities.”  

The “academy” was one of the oldest forms of public education in Georgia.  The Academy of Richmond County, which moved to this building when it was completed in 1926, was founded in 1783 by an act of the legislature and endowed with land formerly owned by the King of England.  It opened in April 1785 on Bay Street and has been in almost continuous operation, making it the oldest educational institution in Georgia still operating and one of the oldest chartered high schools still functioning in the United States.

The school was for white males only until the 1950s.  From 1926-58, it also housed the Junior College of Augusta, which was established by the Board of Education in 1925. The Junior College of Augusta was the first public junior college in Georgia that was supported by a local Board of Education, one of the first junior colleges in Georgia, and part of a nationwide movement from the 1890s to the 1930s known as the “Junior College Movement.”   The Academy of Richmond County remains an active high school.

Plan your visit

The Academy of Richmond County—1926 Campus is located at 910 Russell St. It is not open for public tours. Contact the Richmond County Board of Education at 706-826-1118 or the Academy at 706-737-7152 or visit its website for information about sports events and other activities on campus open to the public.  

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