Officials with Gainesville City Schools are already preparing to sell the public on another round of a one-penny sales tax to fund school renovation and building projects, primarily to handle growing middle and high school enrollment.
Superintendent Jeremy Williams said each of the four “listening sessions” scheduled at schools next month would “engage different levels of the community” and include small breakout groups of students, parents, teachers and community members to identify spending priorities.
The current E-SPLOST, which was approved in 2015 with 74 percent of voter support, is projected to bring in $6 million to $7 million annually for Gainesville City Schools over the five year-life of the tax (until 2022). The first collections began last fall.
The school system has allocated this revenue to pay off construction of the Mundy Mill Academy and new Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy, among other things.
Gainesville City Schools received more than $29 million during the previous round of E-SPLOST that ended last year, which rebuilt the Fair Street School, and paid for re-roofing work at three schools and emergency systems upgrades.
With just one high school and middle school, school board officials said the focus of the next round of E-SPLOST, if approved by voters in 2020, will be on facilitating growth in grades six through twelve.
“We know … middle and high schools will be the focus,” Williams said.
Officials said having students, parents and teachers contributing to a strategic plan on how growing and expanding school facilities can improve various academic programs will be key to garnering support for another round of E-SPLOST.
Williams added that the administration would also reach out to teachers independently of the listening sessions.
School officials, however, acknowledged the importance of having input from parents and teachers of elementary students to better understand what those students’ academic needs will be when they reach middle and high school.
Gainesville City Schools
E-SPLOST public input sessions
When and where:
- 10 a.m. Oct. 10 at Mundy Mill Knowledge Academy, community room, 4260 Millside Parkway
- 6 p.m. Oct. 16 at Gainesville Middle School, cafeteria, 1581 Community Way
- 10 a.m. Oct. 24 at Fair Street Neighborhood Center, 715 Fair St.
- 6 p.m. Oct. 30 at Gainesville High School, cafeteria, 830 Century Place
More info: Visit www.gcssk12.net