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Lanier Tech gets classroom space in Gainesville

College, Gainesville Schools reach deal for more adult ed opportunities

POSTED: January 10, 2014 11:23 p.m.

A partnership between Gainesville City Schools and Lanier Technical College has the double benefit of bringing more adult education classes to Gainesville, as well as an option for high school students who want to get a jump-start on their college education.

“It’s a great deal for both of us,” Gainesville Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said. “There would be no cost to us other than the space.”

The technical institute is “bursting at the seams” trying to keep up with the demand for adult education, Lanier Tech Vice President of Adult Education Linda Barrow said. The college now uses four locations across Hall County to provide services, but more space is needed.

A new home has been found in a modular unit behind Wood’s Mill Academy, near Gainesville High School. The space had previously been used when Fair Street School students shared Wood’s Mill before moving into their new school in October.

Knowing about the vacancy, Barrow approached Dyer about the possibility of using that space. The Gainesville Board of Education approved the deal at its Monday work session.

The two main programs include GED instruction and English language with American citizenship classes.

With the building’s location next to the high school campus, Lanier Tech plans to also offer classes for those students enrolled in both there and at Gainesville high.

“We’re looking at things maybe like a college-level English course or a college-level algebra course,” Barrow said. “We’ll offer whatever’s needed. The property is close enough to Wood’s Mill Academy and to Gainesville High School that, literally, the students could walk.”

That sounds good to Gainesville High student Stewart Bell, 16, who now drives to the Oakwood Lanier Tech campus three days a week. He is taking his general education classes at the school while still in high school.

“That would be very convenient,” he said about the potential of having those classes next to the high school. “That’s a lot less time traveling in traffic, and a lot less gas.”

Dual-enrolled Gainesville students get to the Oakwood via either their personal transportation or the county’s Red Rabbit bus services.

“It’s very much a priority to have students enrolled particularly in high needs fields,” Dyer said.

She added the school system is not charging rent, and will pay for utilities.

Barrow was unsure when the building would be open for classes, but expected it to be sometime in February.

“It could be longer,” she said. “But as I said before, other facilities in Hall County are at capacity, and we have students on waiting lists. So as soon as possible!”


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