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Former Jones Elementary building to house more pre-K classrooms
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Four language immersion prekindergarten classrooms are all set to move to a long-vacant school building.

The pre-K classes at World Language Academy will move to the former Jones Elementary School by the Chicopee Mill and Village Historic District for the 2014-15 school year.

“Hall County has eight immersion pre-K programs in the system,” World Language Academy Associate Principal Carrie Woodcock said. “Four of those are at World Language Academy.

“They’re a shining beacon,” she added. “They’re an amazing asset for the system. ...Our challenge is really logistical. We are growing. We’re bursting at the seams.”

World Language Academy is split into two campuses, with the elementary grades housed at 4670 Winder Highway in Flowery Branch. The middle school students are in the same building as The Da Vinci Academy at South Hall Middle, 3215 Poplar Springs Road.

Woodcock said it’s hoped that, when the pre-K classrooms move, students at the elementary school will be able to move out of the temporary modular units back into the main building.

“On the primary campus we are currently at 699 students, and that includes 88 pre-K children,” she said. “If you ever drive by there on a Wednesday around dismissal time, you’ll see cars coming up and down Winder Highway, and we’re just trying to decide really what to do as far as alleviating traffic potentially, but also to help us with the space in the school.”

Closed in 2010, Jones Elementary was then designated as the Early Language Development Center. It now houses a couple of special education pre-K classes, as well as provides some space for Ninth District Opportunity.

It’s been extensively renovated, including an expanded cafeteria and media center. The classrooms have also been outfitted with power and Internet outlets for new technologies.

Superintendent Will Schofield said the building is ideal, being “centrally located.”

“It’s sitting there, it’s ready to go,” Schofield said about the building. “We got that front wing that we partitioned and are utilizing for Ninth District and some special education programs. This to me is just a no-brainer.”

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