Georgia Historic Society dedicates new civil rights marker | State

SAVANNAH – The Georgia Historical Society announced the unveiling of a new historical marker in Effingham County to commemorate Springfield Central High School.

The marker, the latest addition to the Georgia Civil Rights Trail, recognizes Central as one of 500 compensation schools established in Georgia as part of the Minimum Foundation Program to educate black students.

Springfield Central High School served the community from 1956 until it closed due to integration in 1970. The marker was used by GHS, the Effingham County Board of Commissioners, the Historic Effingham Society, Inc., and the Springfield Central High School Association, Inc . built.

“In the age of segregation, Springfield Central High School, like many compensation schools across the state, provided African-American children in Effingham County with quality education and a sense of community,” said Elyse Butler, manager of GHS Marker. “That sense of community and pride in ‘Central’ is still evident today in efforts to apply for and maintain a historic marker.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the marker was inaugurated in a private ceremony attended by Jamie DeLoach, District 3 commissioner. and Wesley Corbitt, chairman of the Effingham County Board of Commissioners; Willie H. Wright Jr., chairman; and Dr. Franklin Goldwire, vice chairman; Springfield Central High School Association, Inc .; and Elyse Butler, historical marker manager for the Georgia Historical Society.

Since Springfield Central High School closed in 1970, the facility has been used as a middle school, elementary school, preschool, and recreation room.

The marker reads as follows:

Springfield Central High School

Georgia Governor Herman Talmadge created the Minimum Foundation Program in 1949 as part of a statewide compensatory effort to improve school buildings while still maintaining racial segregation. Completed in 1956, Springfield Central High School consisted of grades 1 through 12 and at the time had the largest enrollment rate of any school in Effingham County’s school system. One of five hundred compensatory schools for black students in the state of Georgia, Springfield enrolled nearly 700 students until it closed in 1970 when it became the integrated Springfield Central Junior High School. Springfield’s original nine red-brick buildings and outdoor walkways are an example of the international style of architecture, an inexpensive building template that is characterized by simple lines. Like Springfield Central High School, many mid-century schools across the country reflect this structural design. “

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