Renovations underway for two local elementary schools

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ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB) -- Metcalfe and Idylwild elementary schools will be the first two schools to receive massive redevelopment.

Alachua County Public Schools will demolish 16 buildings and replace them with new construction and renovation.

11 buildings will be demolished at Metcalfe elementary school and five at Idylwild elementary school.

These improvements were funded through the half-cent sales tax for schools approved by local voters last November.

“This is going to be great for the quality of learning in this building and definitely for the quality of teaching as well,” said Jacquatte Rolle, Metcalfe elementary school principal.

Rolle said the school has to submit work orders to repair the air conditioner units and the school faces issues with flooding and has to use sandbags to prevent the rain from getting into the classrooms and bathrooms.

“I was ecstatic to find out Metcalfe elementary school will be one of the first schools to receive improved facilities,” Rolle said. “The impact on learning, the impact on teaching is going to be huge for my students and for my teachers."

Alachua County Public Schools estimate the projects for Metcalfe and Idlywild elementary schools will be complete sometime in 20-21.

“These schools and schools throughout the district—they’re old, they’re outdated, they’re sadly in need of repair,” said Jackie Johnson, ACPS Director of Communications. “For years we didn’t have the money to be able to fix them up. The half-cent for schools that was approved by voters back in November is now giving us the resources we need to completely revitalize our schools and really create a high-quality learning environment for all of our students.”

A meeting for public input on the design for Idyllwild is Tuesday, August 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria.

A session for Metcalfe is being scheduled.

ACPS submitted an application for Howard Bishop Middle School to request permission to demolish 11 buildings on the campus and replace them with new construction.