Bulldozers tear down old Fitzgerald H.S. - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Bulldozers tear down old Fitzgerald H.S.

July 3, 2003

Fitzgerald - Bulldozers tear down the old Fitzgerald High School. The historical building burned two months ago.

The abandoned building was a total loss, but demolition crews were able to save a few historical pieces from the more than 90-year-old school. The pieces were so heavy, a bulldozer had to take them away.

It took just one cigarette lighter and an arsonist to do this much damage. The bulldozer is finishing the job. Tommy Ash, says, "We just tore down the old walls to the Fitzgerald High School so they wouldn't be a danger to the other buildings."

Ash Surveying and Construction Company got the bid to take down the walls, but to Mr. Ash it means a lot more than money in his pocket because he was a former student. He says, "You can't spend that much at a place and not have memories."

The City of Fitzgerald is taking souvenirs. The two cast iron lamp posts that used to be in front of the school and the marble 1909 corner stone are being saved. City employee, Charlie Pepper, points, "I believe the marble is hand carved with the mason symbol on it.", he adds, "Hopefully to be able to use in the park or something after they clean them up a bit."

Demolition is at a halt until a decision is made to keep or tear down the auditorium. The auditorium shares a wall with the old high school. Ash explains, "It didn't burn, just water damage where they put the fire out."

A young arsonist sparked this building to crumble, but hopefully memories will be strong enough to keep standing.

The D.A. wants the 15 year old boy, accused of setting the fire, tried as an adult.

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