School Board wants your input on elementary school rezoning plans

Alachua County Public Schools has scheduled two community meetings to give the public an opportunity to provide input on draft plans for redrawing some elementary school attendance zones. 

Zone lines must be redrawn to create a student population for the new elementary school currently under construction in the southwest Gainesville area. Elementary School I will open in the fall of 2021.

The first of the two community-wide meetings will be held Wednesday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. via Zoom. The second will be held in person from 4 to 8 p.m. on November 4 at the District Office (620 E. University Avenue). Both meetings will also be live streamed on the district’s YouTube channel.

The Zoom coordinates for the online input session are available on the district’s Facilities/Rezoning page.

 

The page includes an interactive map that shows the five draft plans and allows residents to type in their address to see how it would be affected. More information about rezoning, including details about the impact of each plan on surrounding schools, is also available on that page. 

Between four and nine other elementary schools in the area could be affected by the current draft plans. However, district staff stress that minor or wholesale changes could be made to any plan. The School Board is expected to vote on new attendance zones in early February. 

Meetings for the families and staff at each of the schools that may be affected by rezoning are also being held.

Besides populating the new school, the district is pursuing other goals during the rezoning process, including creating greater diversity in the affected schools, making it easier for students to walk to school and reducing overcrowding and portables, which was a major element of the district’s Half-Cent for Schools initiative approved by voters in 2018. 

Elementary I is one of four major school construction and reconstruction projects currently underway in Alachua County as a result of the Half-Cent. Howard Bishop Middle School, Metcalfe Elementary School and Idylwild Elementary School are undergoing comprehensive projects that include the demolition and reconstruction of the majority of buildings on their campuses. Many other facilities projects, including roof and HVAC replacements, renovations, and additions have been completed, are underway or are planned at schools throughout the district. More information on those projects and plans for each school is available on the Facilities website.

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