Adult Education Program looks for new headquarters
By MICHAEL HALL The Brunswick News
Shawn Williams has a stack of boxes in a room at the Adult Education Center on Stonewall Street that are ready to be packed for a move by the end of this month.
The only problem is Williams, director of Altamaha Technical College's adult education program, does not yet know where his program will be moving.
Williams and a group of volunteers who help adults work toward earning their GEDs have until the end of October to vacate the Perry Building, which will be torn down as part of a land swap deal between the Glynn County School System and the city of Brunswick.
Williams said his nerves are running high these days as the search for a new home comes down to the wire.
"Our goal is to continue to serve the whole community as best we can," he said. "We want everyone who needs it to have access to this support system."
The next few days for Williams and Altamaha Tech's Dean of Adult Education Sandra Williams, who are not related, will be busy as they tour four potential sites identified by the college's leadership within the city.
Staying close to where the majority of their students live will be paramount to ensuring the program serves the population in need, Altamaha Tech President Lorette Hoover said.
"Part of the balance we want is to still serve the same community," Hoover said. "(Getting a GED) is one of the biggest differences in somebody's life."
Complicating matters is the fact that the program does not make money and cannot pay rent.
Taking classes at the adult education center is free as part of an initiative by the Technical College System of Georgia. Paying for the programs means the colleges that provide them, like Altamaha Tech, often lose money in the process.
Hoover said her college spends around $100,000 a year and is only given $6,000 by the technical college system to operate programs in Glynn, McIntosh, Long, Wayne, Camden, Jeff Davis and Appling counties. Glynn County's program, which is headquartered at the Perry Building, also operates satellite schools at Whispering Oaks Apartments, the Golden Isles Career Academy and at Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority, Inc.
The program does not pay rent or utilities at any of its sites, so to replace the Perry Building headquarters, Hoover said a similar arrangement will have to be found for its new home as well.
"It has to be a free space," Hoover said. "We just simply need a new home."