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Enota school plans depend on many uncertain factors
Construction, traffic, state approval all affect plan to house students on Centennial campus
Gainesville school system leaders plan to replace the building that houses Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy. - photo by Kristen Oliver

The move of Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy students during construction of a new school has a number of factors that remain uncertain. As a result, Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Wanda Creel said, “There is the potential — and that’s what we’ve been trying to say — that it won’t go as we planned.”

The proposed construction of the Enota facility already has been moved back by one semester — original plans were for the new school to open in the fall of 2017.

Weather, traffic routes and state approval are among the factors that can affect the current plan.

Creel noted the expectation for moving Enota students to the Centennial Arts Academy/Ninth Grade Center site in December 2016 and into the new building in December 2017 is the “best-case scenario.”

The plan calls for construction of an addition to Centennial Elementary School to begin in March. That addition is scheduled for completion by December 2016, and students from Enota would move into a portion of that building. Construction for the Centennial addition is dependent upon approval from the state Department of Education.

Creel said the remainder of the Enota students — about 21 classes — would use three modular classrooms, owned by the city schools and on site at Centennial and the Ninth Grade Center. Two of those modular classrooms now hold Centennial classes, which would move into the addition, and Lanier Technical College programs, which would shift to the Ninth Grade Center, an adjacent building.

Lanier Tech has used the building since September 2014.

Creel said she talked with Lanier Tech President Ray Perren about the move. That occurred Jan. 20, the same day the city schools released a letter about capital projects being planned.

“Lanier Tech has enjoyed a long relationship with the Gainesville City School System. This relationship will continue long after the Enota construction project is complete,” Perren said by email.

“We appreciate the opportunity to provide adult education services at Woods Mill. We are grateful that Dr. Creel and the board will continue to provide us space while addressing the needs of a growing school system.”

Still being developed are transportation plans — ways to accommodate additional traffic at the multi-school site. The city schools and city traffic planner are determining ways to increase traffic capacity throughout the educational complex.

Creel noted that a new entrance from Chestatee Road to the Centennial building would be added. More bus shuttle sites also will be identified.

The superintendent said the school system anticipates regular updates about the construction project to keep parents and students informed.

“We’re working really hard to listen. … We’re trying really hard to be communicative,” Creel said.