A new center for advanced studies will soon open to students at Gainesville High School as they begin the New Year this week.
The center serves as a “focal point” for the reorganization and modernization of the 60-year-old campus, said Superintendent Jeremy Williams. A new cafeteria and a media center are also under construction.
The 43,000 square foot building includes 12 science labs and is primarily dedicated to careers, technology, agriculture and education. It will provide the space and the means for students who wish to pursue a career in a variety of fields, from manufacturing to food science, although it will also house advanced level science courses.
The centre’s dedication ceremony has been postponed to mid-July, but it will now be replaced with a community open house from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 7, according to Williams.
Williams said cutting the tape was initially postponed due to delays in shipping furniture and equipment, such as table saws and sawdust collectors for use by students.
“The building was ready,” Williams said. “We decided to cut the tape because there were a few deliveries that just weren’t going to arrive on time. They have since been delivered and everything is set, but trying to cut the tape when trying to open the school is usually not a good idea.
Gainesville schools are implementing a staggered start to the school year, with some students returning on August 11 and others on August 13.
Students will have the opportunity to connect with nearly 100 different local employers, Williams said, which can involve internships at local construction and farming companies, and even restaurants.
“So that’s kind of our centerpiece when it comes to workforce development and how we connect beyond high school,” Williams said. “This is the result of our community collaborations on workplace learning opportunities that we provide to our students through numerous partnerships across the city and county. This is an opportunity to showcase the professions here in Gainesville that we can send our children to.
The center was approved by the education council in February 2018 and cost around $ 9 million. Funding comes from a combination of tax revenue earmarked for education, government funding from the Department of Education, and a bond referendum that passed in June 2020. Construction was overseen by Carroll Daniel Construction.
Other career development courses – such as audio and video production, business and marketing, law and public safety, and early childhood education – will not be hosted at the new center, Williams said. . Instead, those courtyards will find space in a new three-story building that will replace the old cafeteria, with construction scheduled to be completed “hopefully by January 2024 at the latest,” Williams said.
“So all of our workforce development pathways will have a new home when our campus is completed,” said Williams, adding that the new center represents the ever-growing importance of career development for students in the district. school.
The Center for Advanced Studies “shows our students in our community that we are the future of the workforce,” said Williams. “We can teach all day, but we have to keep in mind that all of these kids are going to grow into adults and be part of a community, and we have to make sure we prepare them for that. ”