School board to vote on expansion of C&CA design

Published 1:28 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019

By Beth Alston

AMERICUS — Design for the Ignite College & Career Academy (C&CA), to be constructed as part of the new Sumter County High School, will undergo a slight change: a little more square footage.
Russ Moore, the consultant who has been working with One Sumter and its partners on the Ignite C&CA, reported to the Sumter County Board of Education at its Monday work session, that in addition to over $407,000 in donations and pledges, they also have 43 partners who have indicated they will donate $23,100 each year. He said the C&CA governing board will request One Sumter Foundation to act as the fiscal agent for all private donations and the Sumter County School system acts as the fiscal agent for the public funds.
The changes that stakeholders at first requested would have increased the square footage by 3,500 sq. ft. but the architect was able to trim that to 2,400 sq. ft. The board will vote whether to accept and fund the changes at Thursday’s regular meeting. The total square footage for the C&CA will be 52,400 sq. ft. with the changes.
Moore walked through the changes to the C&CA plans:
— Expansion of commons areas throughout the wing of about 1,000 ft. for the lobby and hall to provide areas for connectivity for devices and meeting in small groups.
— Addition of a dining room next to the culinary arts lab that can be used for students to learn serving techniques. The area can be used for public meetings with or without a meal served. The space will also be used as a student-run business during the week where anyone can come and purchase food.
— There is also provision for another student-run store for DECA which will offer, shirts, hats, etc. with the C&CA logo.
— Originally plans were for the school health clinic to be located in the main school building but it is now planned to be located in the C&CA adjacent to the health services classrooms and lab. The clinic will have exam rooms, a room for counseling and space for drawing blood, etc., as well as a reception area.
Greg Smith, the project architect, with Buckley and Associates, explained the changes to the board of education Monday. Smith said that “everything” has changed from his last presentation in January. He said after meeting with the C&CA stakeholders and hearing suggestions and recommendations, “everything is changed, and is better.” Smith added that the previous plan looked like a technical and vocational school while the changes will give it a college and career academy, “business” look.
Smith also explained why there are two gymnasiums in the new school. What with high school and JV boys’ and girls’ sports, games will be held in one gym, the larger, which will seat about 1,600. The other gym will be for practice as well as cheerleading and wrestling. It will seat about 300.
In addition to voting on these changes and the cost, other items on the agenda include adoption of the 2019-2020 school calendar, and a consideration of a proposal by the Americus Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. to partner with Sumter County School to provide mentoring for fifth-grade students at Sumter County Intermediate School