Contract for repairs given to company

NEWBORN -- A contract for repairs to the Newborn Schoolhouse has been awarded to Peachtree Construction Services of Decatur in the amount of $109,000.

The building has been closed for a year due to structural damage. The roof will be replaced and improvements made to the foundation. In addition, a handicap ramp will be replaced and the crawl space will be cleared of trash and debris.

Mayor Roger Sheridan said he expects the work to be completed by mid-September.

"By the first of October, we'll be scheduling all kinds of things in the old schoolhouse," he said.

Much of the funds earmarked for the repair have been donated, Sheridan said. The Guy Jones Memorial Fund through the Newton Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta donated $46,000; two anonymous donors gave $10,000, and the Newborn Heritage Trust also donated $10,000. The town will pay for remaining costs, but officials are hoping to get more donations as progress continues on the building.

Built circa 1923, the schoolhouse is owned by the town and maintained and leased by Newborn Heritage Trust. It is perhaps now best known as the home of the Newborn Opry.

Once repairs are complete, a re-opening is planned for the end of September and community events will commence. Sheridan said there are nine tentative events planned for October through December at the site. The Newborn Opry has already requested the first and third Saturdays of each month to perform its show.

"We want to make this a community center," Sheridan said.