Grants to help update academy campus
by Mark Andrews
Dec 13, 2012 | 1654 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Bartow County Public Schools system is one step closer to opening its College and Career Academy. Director of Curriculum and Testing Paul Sabin recently said the academy has received grants totaling $3.25 million for construction and renovation costs and $100,000 for startup costs.

“The Georgia College and Career Academy Project has put a lot of money into creating career academies,” Sabin said during a presentation at Monday’s board of education work session. “To date they’ve put in over $74 million and awarded 24 [grants].”

Henry and Madison counties also received grants this year.

“This grant is actually awarded through the [Technical College System of Georgia], they’ll be our partner, and then we’ll handle the money here,” Sabin said.

Superintendent John Harper has said the intent of the academy, which will be located at the Bartow County Learning Center on Grassdale Road beginning fall 2013, will be to provide an alternative education source for high school students who don’t desire the traditional high school experience while acquiring their diploma. The academy is set to offer courses based on a needs assessment survey sent to manufacturers and businesses throughout the county and has a partnership with Georgia Highlands College and Chattahoochee Technical College so students also may earn college credits and possibly certification or a two-year degree while attending the academy.

Sabin said the bulk of the grants will go toward teacher professional learning, student recruitment, modifying the existing building — the old Cass High School — and upgrading technology and security.

“The [old Cass High School] building is still a great facility, but what we want to do is give it a bit of that ‘wow’ factor and create something here where students and the community both will want to come to advance their learning or careers through post-secondary [education],” Sabin said.

He said this will include updating the entrance to the building and possibly creating a glassed-in community and computer area in the lobby. Other modifications include constructing an engineering lab, healthcare wing, cosmetology lab and marketing lab.

“I want to thank the community and especially the [Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce] for their support with us in [applying for] this grant,” Harper said. “We typically had about 100 people involved in our committees as we moved through to write this grant and the success of [the academy] is due to the support of the community and this [school] board.”