** THIS UNEDITED DOCUMENT WAS WRITTEN AND PUBLISHED IN 1953 **
When the new addition to the Elm Street School in Rockmart is completed sometime in the late summer or early fall, then every school child in the Polk County school system will be housed in a modern, well equipped school building. During the past five years, the Polk County Board of Education has replaced nine dilapidated one and two teacher Negro Schools with modern fire proof structures at Rockmart and Cedartown. When the new building is completed in Rockmart, the Rockmart unit will have seventeen classrooms and a combination auditorium-gymnasium, with the customary office space and restroom facilities. The Lyle School in Cedartown is a fifteen classroom structure with a kitchen, a clinic, office and restrooms. These new buildings give the Negro school children of Polk County equal building facilities to the white.
During the past year, the board of education, in cooperation with the people of this county and with the State Building Program has been able to erect eight additional school buildings. The old Fish Creek School Building was replaced with a new modern structure. Fite and Brewster Schools were abandoned, and new buildings were erected nearer the center of the population. The Fish Creek, Brewster and Fite Schools were built from the same pattern. They contain eight classrooms, a library, clinic, an office, lunchroom, a combination auditorium and physical room, and toilets. Each school has a modern heating system, fired with oil, and the construction, facilities, etc., are equal to modern city schools.
A modern lunchroom was erected at Benedict and is connected by a covered walk way to the Benedict School Building. Cedar Lake and Antioch, both have had added beautiful combination auditorium and physical education units. A new gymnasium was built at Aragon, which has a large basketball court and when the seats are installed, will have a seating capacity of 500. The building is so arranged that it can be used as a physical education room with six practice goals arranged around inside the building. This building is well supplied with hot and cold water and dressing facilities. At Rockmart, a new recreational area was laid out. It is composed of a well drained and beautifully shaped football field, a modern ticket office and concession stand, a junior high school gym, and dressing room facilities, and the educational building named Scoggin Hall in honor of Mr. J. A. Scoggin, long time superintendent of the Rockmart Schools.
The new Scoggin Hall is a large building with 31,000 square feet of floor space. It has a reception center, public toilets, band room, glee club room, music library, a commercial department with four classrooms, and an activity room equipped with kitchen facilities. In the center of this building is the basketball court which, when the seats are installed, will seat 1,800 people. It will have two practice courts running east and west, which will be used for physical education and the main court running north and south, which will be used for games witnessed by spectators. A basement compartment contains dressing rooms and storage room for the athletes and physical education students. This plant is one of the best designed and most modern in the south.
Future plans for buildings in this system calls for a lunchroom at Cedar Lake, Antioch, and Goodyear Schools; a lunchroom, and combination auditorium and physical education room at the Euharlee School; a cannery and shop building for the Rockmart High School; a new elementary school in Rockmart; a home economics department, library, lunchroom and shop at the Elm Street Colored School in Rockmart; a combination physical education room and auditorium for the Lyle Colored School.
The county will also build a large elementary school in Cedartown for the use of the Cedartown children as repayment for the space occupied by county children in the Cedartown High School.
This building program will require 10 years to complete. The buildings will be built as the money comes in from the state.
The Polk County Board of Education operates the senior high school in Rockmart for white children, a junior high school in Aragon, and ten elementary schools. All of the high school children in the west end of the county attend the Cedartown High School. The city and the county have a working arrangement and the county pays its share for the cost of operating the high school in Cedartown.
The Polk County Board of Education operates two elementary schools and one high school for Negro children. Rockmart has an elementary school and a high school for children living in the east end of the county. Lyle Colored School serves the elementary children who live in the west end of the county outside the city of Cedartown. The Negro high school children who live in the west end of the county attend the Cedar Hill High School and the county pays the city for its share of the cost.
This working relationship has been very satisfactory and saves both the city and the county money. It gives the children a better education than they could have if the county and the city operated separate high schools in the west end of Polk County.
Another phase of the school program that seems to be adequately provided for is transportation. Polk County has some of the finest bus systems in the state. The bus routes are short, and children have been relived of the early morning – late afternoon trips that once had the children out before daylight and kept them out until dark. Most children now can leave home at 7:30 AM or after and be at school by 9:00 AM, and be back home by 4:30 PM. As part of the transportation system, the Polk County Board of Education has twenty-five modern school buses operated by safe and efficient drivers. The board of education also contracts with six Negro drivers who own their own buses and transport the Negro children to their respective schools in this county.