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Schools

Proposal in the works to move George Mason ES, Franklin Military?

CREDIBLE RUMOR has it that there is a proposal in the works to relocate George Mason Elementary School to the East End Middle School that currently houses Franklin Military Academy, with Franklin moving to one of the system’s unused school buildings.

It sounds like the move would lay the groundwork for building a new school at the George Mason location that would house both George Mason and Chimborazo schools.

Classes at the first school for African-American students in the Church Hill vicinity were held in rented rooms near 26th and N Streets in 1869. In 1881, a four-room frame building was erected at 29th and O Street, joined by an additional brick structures in 1887. The two schools were known as the East End School until 1909 when the name was changed to George Mason. Additions came in 1922, 1936, 1951, and 1979.

Founded in 1980, Franklin Military Academy was the first public military school in the nation, and is currently in its 4th location.

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19 comments

Shawnta Young 06/11/2017 at 7:15 AM

Where will Franklin be moved too?

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Meg Turner 06/11/2017 at 9:42 AM

Yes!!!! Yay for George Mason! Many people don’t know it, but it’s the oldest RPS building still housing children. I’ve heard through the grapevine that it is considered a historical landmark. Those children and teachers need a clean, safe place to learn and work ASAP.

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Marva Russell 06/11/2017 at 9:52 AM

Yes we do!! Children especially!!

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Dave Seibert 06/11/2017 at 12:09 PM

Woah. Interesting stuff.

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Eric Huffstutler 06/11/2017 at 2:58 PM

The Franklin Military Academy is the first Public Military School in America. The building, designed by Charles M. Robinson, is also known as the Onslow Minnis Building (Middle School). Built in 1929 (remodeled in 1992), it served as the East End Junior High School from 1929-1958, when desegregation changed many things locally leading to the “white flight”.

I don’t think it has a seperate historic registry but is part of the Oakwood-Chimborazo Historic District VDHR# 127-0821.

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Anonymous 06/11/2017 at 5:54 PM

Franklin Military Academy should be housed in an amazing location. It was originally only for grades 9-12 and for students wanting to participate in JROTC and enter the military after high school.

Since admitting middle school aged students, however, its entire dynamic has changed; and not for the better. Perhaps a move to a new location would afford the opportunity to return Franklin Military Academy to its roots- dropping the middle school and going back to admitting only grades 9-12 and the military focus that it had in its glory days.

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Concerned Citizen and Teacher 06/11/2017 at 7:00 PM

I hope this is true. George Mason is revolting, repellent. No child or adult should have to spend their day there. I think any school board member – or administrator – who has children in the public schools should have to send their child to the “worst” school. One, we’d quickly learn that there are some schools better than others, and everyone knows it. Two, you’d see how fast these old schools were closed down or fixed up. It’s a shame, and almost criminal that the powers that be let things fall into such disrepair because they secretly know the building is going to be torn down soon. For those children forced to go there – that is their ONLY elementary school experience. It is no consolation to them that other children will get to experience a “nicer” school. Any community member who does not know how bad things are, I invite you to go into the restrooms. They are worse than something you’d see in a Third World slum. I do not exaggerate. Stomach turning. I think it’s noteworthy that when high profile people choose to put their children in the public schools for PR purposes, it’s always “The Best” elementary school(s). They wouldn’t let ‘their children’ attend George Mason for even ONE DAY.

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Dave 06/11/2017 at 8:49 PM

What happens to the building that is now Chimborazo Elementary?

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Kirsten Gray 06/11/2017 at 10:44 PM

This would be a cool place for a Military school and you could easily enjoy dual enrollment with J. Sarg right behind you. Would be great for revitalizing downtown and I miss the days of seeing all the students downtown. I was one taking the GRTC to TJ along with kids going all over the city. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues_Armory

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Stephanie Turner 06/12/2017 at 9:52 AM

I think this needs to happen!!!!

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Supporters call for action on George Mason Elementary School - Church Hill People's News | Richmond, Virginia 06/21/2017 at 6:37 AM

[…] Amid rumors that George Mason ES might be getting moved into the Franklin Military building, supporters from the elementary school showed up at last night’s School Board meeting to draw attention to the physical condition of the school: […]

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Churchillian 07/02/2017 at 1:05 PM

Franklin Military Academy right now is quiet and disciplined. The youth that attend are well mannered and well-behaved. I’m concerned that it would become a chaotic mess if George Mason student were housed there instead of the military academy youth. George Mason should be renovated so the children can have a decent place to learn.

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