The Gainesville school district announced plans Wednesday to relocate Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy students for about a year while a new school building is built for the decades-old elementary school.
Enota students will be placed in facilities located on the Centennial Arts Academy property during the construction.
Gainesville Superintendent Wanda Creel released the plans for the next year and a half in a release titled “A Message From Your Superintendent: Capital Projects Update.”
In the release, Creel said Enota students will begin the 2016-17 school year in the current Enota building. In December, these students will move to facilities near Centennial and Gainesville High School.
Currently, there are two modular units used by Centennial Arts Academy. The district plans to build a two-story classroom building at Centennial to replace the need for these modulars, and Creel said the hope is for the new classroom building to be finished by December.
“The Enota family will occupy the two modular units currently being utilized by Centennial Arts Academy and one modular unit currently being used by Lanier Technical College,” Creel said. “Additionally, the new addition at Centennial Arts Academy will house Centennial students on one floor and Enota students on the other floor.”
The Lanier Tech modular is also located near Centennial, adjacent to the Gainesville High School Ninth Grade Center.
Construction of the new Enota school will then begin while students are at Centennial, from December 2016 through December 2017.
“The Enota family will begin the 2017-2018 school year in the temporary location, but will complete the 2017-2018 school year in their new school building,” Creel said.
Enota Principal Wesley Roach said the school currently has 36 homerooms. The modular units and the 15 classrooms that will become available in the new Centennial classroom building will provide adequate classroom space for Enota students, Creel said.
“Activity classes such as physical education and creative movement will take place in the empty gym at the Ninth Grade Center,” Creel said. “Enota students will have designated lunch periods at either Centennial Arts Academy or the Ninth Grade Center. The Enota school nutrition program team will join the school nutrition staffs at Centennial and the Ninth Grade Center to assist with food preparation.”
The shift will bring increased traffic to an already-busy campus. Creel said a separate Enota car rider drop-off will be identified, and the district is determining how best to handle the increased traffic that will come to the property.
“Additional parking is being created on the complex in order to accommodate the need for increased student, staff and parent parking for Enota, Centennial and Gainesville High School,” she said. “The city of Gainesville has agreed to allow the school district to open the road from the Centennial property onto Chestatee Road during the construction phase, and the Gainesville City School System is working with the Gainesville city traffic planner to help determine ways to increase traffic capacity.”
Additional bus stops will be created, and Creel said the district will encourage both Centennial and Enota car-riding families to take advantage of the school transportation.
Creel said moving Enota students for one year to these existing facilities saves the district funds that would otherwise be used to invest in adding modulars.
Plans for the Centennial classroom addition, as well as a new school in the Mundy Mill subdivision, have been submitted to the Georgia Department of Education and should be approved in March 2016. Construction of both will begin upon approval.