Opening of Boulware charter school delayed a year


Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 5:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 5:56 p.m.

A planned charter school with a nearly year-round calendar has been delayed a year.

Boulware Springs Charter School was scheduled to open in July 2013 after the Alachua County School Board approved its charter in November, but the property needs to be rezoned, and school leaders want to completely renovate the facility before opening it for classes in July 2014.

The K-5 school will be located at the old McGurn YMCA at 1303 NE 23rd Ave., which is currently zoned as recreation/public service. Cofounder Megan Lane said the process to get the property zoned for education is moving along and could be done by May or June.

"We can't actually operate until that is changed," she said.

The bigger obstacle to opening by July, she said, was the renovation.

"We didn't know how extensive the renovations were going to be until we got an contractor in there and a site planner," she said.

The privately funded renovations will include fixing a damaged roof, restructuring the layout of the main building that will serve as the cafeteria and kitchen for the school, and removing the pool.

Kay Abbitt, the school's cofounder and principal, said in a news release that it would serve the school better to avoid holding classes during renovations.

"We do not want to open the school while there is construction at the site, as this is surely a distraction to learning," she said. "Opening in 2014 will allow us to complete construction and ensure that students are able to learn in an optimal environment."

The school will have a longer school day and school year. Four 50-day terms, three 10-day breaks and a six-week summer vacation will make up the calendar.

The school day will last from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and on Friday school would start at 8 a.m. and let out at 2 p.m.

Lane said applications for the Boulware Springs school will likely be available in January 2014, but the school is compiling a list of potential students. Those interested in learning more can visit www.boulwarecharter.com or the school's Facebook page.

Interested parties can sign up to receive monthly newsletters with updates and will be able to attend open houses that will start in the fall to show progress of the construction. For more information, contact Abitt or Lane by email at info@boulwarecharter.com.

Contact Joey Flechas at 338-3166 or joey.flechas@gvillesun.com.

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