Browns Bridge Road could be the geographic line determining whether students go to the new Mundy Mill Academy, which will open in August. A 15-member zoning committee made that proposal at Monday’s Gainesville Board of Education meeting.
“The easiest way to (zone it) would be to draw a clear geographical line,” said Sarah Bell, Gainesville City Schools chief academic officer.
Elementary-age children that live south of Browns Bridge Road, a major thoroughfare near the school, would go to the new school, according to the proposal.
“If we maintain what we have … in all likelihood we would have to relook at (the zoning) next year,” Superintendent Wanda Creel said.
Bell said it would be a multi-tier process getting the zoning right for the school.
“We will see how it plays out, see how it goes after a year,” Bell said.
Currently, 490 students are living in the current proposed zone. However, Creel said that number is expected to go up once the school opens.
“I’m not sure anyone has a crystal ball to see what’s coming,” board member Sammy Smith said.
Creel said the Mundy Mill neighborhood itself is expected to see an increase in population.
“It should spur added growth in that community,” Creel said.
Other sizable neighborhoods in the proposed zone include Orchard Brook Apartments with 47 students, Willow Ridge subdivision with 159, Maple Park subdivision with 57, Copper Springs subdivision with 46, Amberleigh subdivision with 66, Chicopee Crossing Apartments with 40 and The Preserve Apartments with 12.
“We want to try and keep things very simple,” Smith said. “Say to one apartment complex, one neighborhood, ‘This is where you go,’ that is simple to me.”
Bell presented the proposed zoning recommendations at the Monday meeting.
“We can redraw for new zones, but the chance of students choosing their current school is great,” Bell said.
Bell also provided a chart of the proposed student populations.
With the zones as they are proposed, Centennial Arts Academy will have 860 students, Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy will have 643, Fair Street Elementary School will have 310, Gainesville Exploration Academy will have 952, Mundy Mill Academy would have 490 and New Holland Knowledge Academy would have 647.
The projections do not include tuition students, only those who are city residents.