April 13, 2021, Savannah, Georgia – The Georgia Historical Society has announced the unveiling of a new historical marker in Effingham County commemorating Springfield Central High School. The marker, the latest addition to the Georgia Civil Rights Trail, recognizes ‘Central’ as one of 500 equalization schools established under the Minimum Foundation Program to educate Black students in Georgia. Springfield Central High School served the community from 1956 until its closure due to integration in 1970. The marker was erected by GHS, the Effingham County Board of Commissioners, Historic Effingham Society, Inc., and Springfield Central High School Association, Inc.
“During the era of segregation, Springfield Central High School, like many equalization schools across the state, provided a quality education and sense of community for the African-American children of Effingham County,” says GHS Marker Manager Elyse Butler. “That sense of community and pride in ‘Central’ is still apparent today through the efforts to apply for and obtain a historical marker.”
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the marker was dedicated in a private ceremony attended by The Honorable Jamie DeLoach, District 3 Commissioner, and The Honorable Wesley Corbitt, Chairman at Large, Effingham County Board of Commissioners; Mr. Willie H. Wright, Jr., Chairperson, and Dr. Franklin Goldwire, Assistant Chairperson, Springfield Central High School Association, Inc.; and Ms. Elyse Butler, Historical Marker Manager for the Georgia Historical Society.
Since the closure of Springfield Central High School in 1970, the facility has been used as a middle school, elementary school, pre-school, and recreational space. For further information regarding the Springfield Central High School, the Georgia Civil Rights Trail, or the Georgia historical marker program, please contact Patricia Meagher, GHS Director of Communications at 912.651.2125, ext. 153 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 equalization effort to improve school buildings and yet maintain racial segregation. Completed in 1956, Springfield Central High School consisted of grades one through twelve and, at the time, had the largest enrollment of all schools in the Effingham County school system. As one of five hundred equalization schools built for black students in the state of Georgia, Springfield matriculated nearly 700 students until its closure in 1970, when it became the integrated Springfield Central Junior High School. Springfield’s original nine buildings constructed with red bricks and outdoor walkways are an example of the International Style of architecture, a cost-effective building template characterized by simple lines. Like Springfield Central High School, many midcentury schools throughout the nation reflect this construction design.
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Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
To learn more visit georgiahistory.com.