Public has more opportunities to share input on rezoning options

The public will have additional opportunities to weigh in on draft rezoning plans for Elementary School I before the Alachua County School Board makes a final decision in mid-February.

For several months the district has been working on various options for populating the new elementary school, which is located in the southwest Gainesville area and scheduled to open this fall. After more than a dozen public meetings and input sessions, the school board has narrowed the options to two, although changes are still possible.

Information on the two options, referred to as Options B and G, is available on the district’s rezoning page.

An online community input session has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Jan. 6. Those who wish to speak at the meeting can do so through Zoom (here). However, because of limitations on the number of participants through Zoom, those who wish to watch the meeting without speaking are asked to do so through the district’s YouTube channel.

A special board workshop on the rezoning options will be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 8. The workshop will be held at the school board meeting room at 620 E. University Avenue in Gainesville. Space inside the meeting room will be limited due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols. The public can provide input in person or online through Zoom (here).

The meeting can also be viewed on the district’s YouTube channel. The board will have a special meeting to take a preliminary vote on one proposed option at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 13.

That will be followed by a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 3. A final board vote will be held during the regular business meeting on Feb. 16, which begins at 6 p.m. The public will be able to offer input at all meetings through Zoom or in person. 

The district has also set up an online survey regarding the two remaining options. The survey is open through Jan. 11, and the results will be shared with the school board. The direct link to that survey is here.

Citizens may also continue to send questions or input via email: rezoning@gm.sbac.edu.

The rezoning for Elementary School I will be a first step in a planned comprehensive rezoning for all schools in the district in the next one or two years, which would include a review of programs offered at schools, including magnet programs. The goal would be to better balance student numbers and demographics and improve academic outcomes at all local schools.

The district is planning to begin a community engagement campaign on comprehensive rezoning during the summer of 2021, including input sessions throughout the county.

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