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Saturday February 13th, 2016 6:00AM

Hall School Board gives the okay to new fine arts facilities

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - The Hall County School District is moving forward on an upgrade of fine arts facilities for at least two high schools.

School Superintendent Will Schofield said the board decided at a work session Monday afternoon to proceed with plans for new facilities at both the North Hall High School and East Hall High School campuses.

"Our two oldest high schools - North Hall and East Hall, both 60 years old - really have what you couldn't call anything but sub-par performing arts spaces," said Schofield.

He said board members gave district officials the approval to begin gathering community input and then start the design process for new facilities.

Schofield said the new spaces will be money well-spent.

"What we're hearing from people who hire individuals for the 21st century job market is that the skills that children pick up through the fine arts - the creativity, the self expression - are some of the most highly sought after qualities of the 21st century workforce," said Schofield.

Schofield said it is likely that portions, if not all, of the existing facilities at both North Hall and East Hall will be demolished to make way for new performing arts centers.

And, he said the projects should move forward fairly quickly.

"I would like to think that within the next year, you might see some dirt being moved."

Schofield said North Hall High School is in the greatest need with East Hall second, and if there's money available, then Johnson High School in Oakwood might see a new facility, as well.

"Of course, I would remind people that the funds that would be used to build these spaces and renovate these spaces will be SPLOST funds," noted Schofield. "It does not come out of the General Fund."

Schofield said his best guess would have each facility taking about a year to complete, which would mean some disruption during the regular school year.



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