Gainesville City Schools plans to take its career, technical and agricultural education to the next level with a new two-story advanced studies center.
If voters approve of the education special purpose local option sales tax and quarter-billion-dollar bond sale for capital funding in March, Gainesville Superintendent Jeremy Williams said construction will begin right away. He hopes to have it finished by August 2021.
The 43,100-square-foot facility would sit in the vacant lot on the corner of Rainey Street and Century Place.
This $10 million project marks phase one of Gainesville High School’s redesign, which also includes a new cafeteria, media center, instructional building and student activities center. The combined cost of all the upgrades is $51 million.
Williams said the overall goal of the high school’s transformation is to go from 13 existing buildings to six.
“Between now and the March vote, we plan to dedicate one meeting a month to rolling out a new project,” Williams said.
Williams brought the floor plan for the advanced studies building to the Gainesville Board of Education on Monday, Dec. 2. The resolution to move forward with architectural renderings and site plan was approved by the board a few months ago.
Robertson Loia Roof PC was chosen as the building’s architects.
The first floor includes separate labs for manufacturing, engineering and technology, family and consumer science, construction and work-based learning.
The second floor contains a STEM research lab, biology lab, chemistry lab and two health care science labs.
Williams said the STEM research lab will become a flexible space to use for dual enrollment, joint classes and large-scale labs.
Adrian Niles, Gainesville chief operations officer, said the building will have safety and security monitors, interior and exterior cameras and card reader access.
With the new space, Williams said the district aims to merge math and science with CTAE.
“As a former physics teacher, there’s nothing greater than taking real world hands-on opportunities and merging them with mathematical concepts,” he said. “It’s not just a career wing or workforce development, it’s taking things typically worked on in isolation and integrating them.”