Gainesville Board of Education members spoke Monday night at their work session about building a school in the Mundy Mill area, but the system would need $6.3 million to get the project started, money it doesn’t have now.
Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said elementary schools in the system are at or over capacity, including Gainesville Exploration Academy, which has 970 students in a building made for 650. If an elementary school opened on the 17-acre plot on Mundy Mill Road that the school system owns, there would already be 500 students to attend there, Dyer added.
But getting the money to build would require voters to approve a bond referendum or special purpose local option sales tax. The earliest the issue could be put on the ballot is 2016. Those funds would then be matched with state funds.
The land for the school was donated with the stipulation that the system build an elementary school by 2020.
The school has been in the plans since 2007 when the former developer of the Mundy Mill subdivision donated the land to the school system. As the housing bubble burst and the economy began spiraling downward, the land was foreclosed on. Butler Property later acquired it and developer Wendell Starke gave it back to the school system with the new agreement.
Though building seems far off at this point, the system is studying whether to open it as an elementary school or a K-8 school. Dyer said many parents in the area have requested the middle school grades because of the distance from Mundy Mill to Gainesville Middle School, located off Jesse Jewell Parkway north of E.E. Butler Parkway.
The board meets again this week in a called meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Fair Street Neighborhood Center, 715 Fair St., Gainesville.
The meeting will follow the board’s annual midyear strategic planning retreat.
Community foundation offers scholarships
The North Georgia Community Foundation administers more than 20 scholarships, and seniors graduating in 2013 can apply by March 1.
Requirements, purposes and awards for the scholarships vary. Some are designed for graduates from certain high schools, others for those who plan to study a certain area in college and others are for those who demonstrate financial need.
Last year more than $175,000 in scholarship money was awarded to 150 students in the 15 counties the foundation serves, according to a news release.
To apply, download applications at www.ngcf.org/scholarships.
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