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Ask the Times: Century Place controlled by school system
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Juan Cristobal, left, and Burt Machado check cars Wednesday morning as they enter Gainesville High School on Century Place. - photo by Scott Rogers | The Times

If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

Is Century Place at Gainesville High School a public road? Why is it blocked by civilian personnel during certain times of the week?
Century Place is a public road up to the front entrance of the high school, and from that point down to Centennial Arts Academy it is the property of the Gainesville Board of Education, Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said.

The road is blocked during lunch, from 11:20 a.m. to 1:40 p.m., as a safety measure because there had been complaints from parents that nonstudents were visiting during those hours, Dyer said. The policy was put in place November 2011.

Junior and seniors in good academic standing are allowed to leave for lunch, and they, along with faculty, are issued decals for their vehicles.

“The safety officers at the gate assure that those students can enter and exit safely and eliminate the ‘drive-through spectators,’ Dyer said.

The effort is coordinated with the Gainesville Police Department, but the safety officers are school employees.

I live close to Platt Park in South Hall, which was closed by the county about two years ago due to budget shortfalls. Are there any plans to reopen it soon? It has two ballfields and with baseball season beginning, it seems a shame for it to sit unused when all the county teams are struggling to find enough practice fields.
Hall County officials said this week that reopening the park is possible, but there are no current plans to do so.

“In light of the recent audit of Hall County’s finances, which shows an increase in fund balance, we are cautiously optimistic about the county’s current financial situation,” Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley said. “If that situation continues to improve, the possibility of reopening Platt Park could be addressed during the upcoming budget process.”

Hall County Parks & Leisure Services will have 27 lighted baseball and softball fields for use this spring, she added, seven more than were available last year.

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