Gadsden Elementary Magnet School will be relocating to West Gadsden Middle School next school year, according to the Gadsden County Public Schools District.
The magnet school has been located at 500 West King Street, which was formerly the old Quincy High School.
Gadsden County Schools Superintendent Elijah Key says the building currently housing the elementary magnet school is almost 100 years old, and age has taken a toll on this historic structure.
According to Superintendent Key, the roof of the old school campus is damaged to a point he considered to be irreparable.
The building was originally constructed in 1927 as the old Quincy High School.
During a special school board meeting on Tuesday, June 1, school board members were tasked with choosing between two sites to house the relocation of the magnet school – either West Gadsden Middle School in Greensboro or George W. Monroe in Quincy.
The board members voted 4-1 to move the students of the magnet school to the West Gadsden campus.
School Board Member Cathy Johnson was the lone dissenting vote.
According to the school district, Gadsden Elementary Magnet will operate as a “school within a school” on West Gadsden Middle School’s campus.
Key said it will be housed on the elementary side of the Greensboro campus.
Gadsden Elementary Magnet currently serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade. West Gadsden serves students in grades four through eight.
While the magnet school is the only school officially placed under a move, Key said that the school’s campus is not the only one in need of repairs.
According to Key, most of Gadsden County’s school campuses are in dire condition.
While Key says he hopes to build a brand-new elementary school in Quincy, he acknowledged that the school district currently lacks the funding to make a new school a reality.
Key adds that if or when a new school is built, one of the district’s current schools will need to face the wrecking ball – Key named James A. Shanks Middle School as the most-likely option to be torn down, with a new school to be placed at the middle school’s site.
As for picking Shanks as the most-likely option for razing, Key noted that while all of the schools are in poor condition, Shanks’ condition will most likely prevent it from receiving any repair funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Key noted that over 50 percent of James A. Shanks Middle School was damaged in 2018 by Hurricane Michael.
As of the most recent meeting of the school board, no further action or planning was made on the deconstruction of Shanks or the construction of a new school.
Erin Hill – Gadsden County News Service