At a groundbreaking ceremony last week, the city’s mayor and council and a majority of the members of the Fulton County school board spoke about the history of the site on Princeton Avenue and the city’s plan for the new school.
“Schools represent community and this space held a school for over 70 years,” said Mayor Jack Longino, who attended the high school that first opened in 1943.
It later became a primary school but, due to the aging condition of the building, was demolished in 2011.
Vinings-based construction company Evergreen Construction is the hired contractor in charge of the new three-story school.
Once completed, the building will be about 126,000 square feet and accommodate 850 students in 56 classrooms in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Staff will also have the ability to close off the classroom wing of the building so residents can access the media center, gymnasium and other facilities for community events.
The city has been assessing schools through a program called Refresh, Rebuild, Renew and identified eight buildings that needed to be rebuilt.
College Park Elementary is the first school to be built and was called “a taxpayer’s investment” by many of the attendees.
“Without the one-cent sales tax, the school board could not give this city what it deserves, which is state-of-the-art schools for students,” said school board member Gail Dean.
Finances to build the new school are fully funded through the special purpose local option sales tax.
After its completion, the building will open for students in August 2014.
School Superintendent Robert Avossa thanked the city’s residents for supporting the tax and asked residents to keep supporting future building projects.
“At the end of the day, the buildings are important, but the activities that happen in them are even more important and we need the best teachers, curriculum and principals to make it all work,” he said.