Claflin School project in Columbus nearing completion

Claflin School project in Columbus nearing completion

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Construction is nearly completed on a former school building in Columbus.

The land dates back more than a century and carries some important history.

The building has come a long way since construction began less than a year ago, and by this time next year, officials are expecting this old school to be home to more than 40 families.

Originally built in the 1800s, the Claflin School is a long-standing piece of history in Columbus.

“Traditionally,” Oracle Design Group architect, Mark Wright, said, “It was an all-black school which is outstanding and amazing by itself.”

Two buildings remain, one from the 1940s and one dating back to 1925. Now, Oracle Design Group is working to restore the original buildings, complete two new ones, and create an affordable housing complex for 44 families.

“Everyone knows knows that building, shares stories about it, and understands the significance," said Wright. "I believe the significance is pretty amazing as being a black, I believe it was, a public school, which is incredible by itself.”

The ongoing project has come with many changes, while working to preserve the history of the architecture and employ local contractors.

Councilwoman Mimi Woodson represents the district where the Claflin School stands. She said the community is buzzing with excitement.

“Wow," she said. "Just like the gentlemen said, I’m going to wow you, well he really wowed us. It’s exciting. I’m going to drive by myself to say wow. You know you might get people to live there that went to school there or people that helped build it. Their family members would say, ‘oh my uncle helped put this window up and now I live with this building.’”

The architect is expecting to finish up construction by the end of December. He hopes to have “lease now” signs up by the first of the year.

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