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Carrerra Program finds a home

By Kay S. Pedrotti The Carrera program under the Lamar County Activity Center will continue through June 30 at the Pike Lamar Services Center, said LCAC board chairman Jere Koser. LCAC personnel and volunteers spent last weekend moving classroom materials, said Koser, and a plan is in place to be out of the present building by the end of January. A spokesperson for the Georgia National Guard, Lt. Col. Tom Lesnieski, told The Herald Gazette that after a Dec. 27 inspection by National Guard personnel, ‘We realized that the building could no longer be occupied in its present condition.’ He added that the Guard’s intention was originally to have a local government, the city of Barnesville or the Lamar County commission, to accept title to the property and make the necessary repairs if they chose. Mayor Peter Banks and councilman Mark Stone began the discussion on the fate of the building about a year ago but the city council has never taken action. If no one takes the buildings, Lesnieski added, the GNG will turn it over to the state government for sale. He said he ‘hopes that if that is the case, a corporation or business will buy the 26 acres and provide some jobs for the area.’ After an initial inspection by county and GNG personnel Dec. 20, ‘It was agreed there is a lot of work that needs to be done to the buildings,’ said commission chairman Jay Matthews. ‘People keep confusing the issue of continuing the programs with staying in the buildings. We want the programs to continue, of course, but we realize if they were starting the program for the first time tomorrow, they wouldn’t bring children into buildings like that, with so many problems.’ Students returned to the after-school program Jan. 6. ‘We’re very pleased to be sharing the PLSC,’ Koser said, ‘and we’re grateful for all the community support for the last 21 years. The thrift store will be moving at the end of the month and we’ll sell surplus tables and chairs. We invite help from anyone to help us move and especially need trucks. Call 404-273-3066 if you could help.’ In its fourth year here, Carrera is a federally funded program designed for pre-teens and young teens, aimed at reducing teen pregnancies and the subsequent effects to the teens and the community. The program offers multiple instructions in academics, physical activities and sports, family life/ sex education, mental health and self-esteem and preparing for jobs. Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta oversees the grant program serving Lamar, Spalding and Jasper counties.

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