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Enota school project picks up momentum
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Enota construction schedule

Week of Jan. 9: Construction documents to be 100 percent completed

Week of Jan. 23: Advertise for bids

February: District staff to evaluate Guaranteed Maximum Price bids

March: School board to review/approve GMP bids

End of May: Vacate Enota facility

June 1: Demolition begins

July 31, 2018: New Enota school completed

Source: Gainesville City Schools

In the coming weeks, Gainesville school officials will be making important financial decisions related to the Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy replacement project.

The project is expected to pick up momentum later this month when Carroll Daniel Construction — the school district’s construction management firm — advertises for bids the week of Jan. 23, according to information released earlier this week at a school board meeting. Carroll Daniel is in its third year managing projects for the school district.

Lee Cain, Gainesville City Schools’ capital program manager, updated school board members Monday on Enota and other school projects.

The new Enota facility will be constructed on the same campus where the old school opened in 1954 — 1340 Enota Ave. School board member Sammy Smith echoed the sentiment of many when he said the community is deserving of a new school.

“The first part is demolition followed by new construction on the same campus,” Smith said Wednesday.

A project overview offered by Cain calls for construction to begin June 1, and it is expected to be completed by July 31, 2018.

Until the new Enota school is completed, Superintendent Wanda Creel said Enota students and faculty will share space at Centennial Arts Academy, 852 Century Place, when the 2017-18 school year begins in August.

“The moving of materials will occur at the end of this school year,” Creel said.

The school district completed a $4.89 million expansion at Centennial Arts Academy last month. The 35,458-square-foot addition accommodates 30 classrooms, according to information provided by Cain.

School officials considered renovating the Enota elementary school, but they ultimately determined a new school  would be more cost-effective.

The project faced stiff opposition before getting off the ground. Some in the Enota community pushed back against the construction plans, which will destroy the school’s iconic Smartville garden — an endeavor shouldered by volunteers and donations.

Creel recently told The Times that building a new school would also “ensure that our students at Enota have access to state-of-the art technology and other amenities.”