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Continuing to raise the bar Welcome back. I am thrilled to embark on my sixth year as superintendent of Forsyth County Schools and honored to have the privilege to lead our outstanding students, staff and schools.  I hope you have the opportunity to visit one of our 36 schools, where you will find some of the best teachers in the nation and a rigorous curriculum created specifically for your child. We know that more is constantly being demanded of our students academically. With the ever-changing landscape of the world and workforce, not only must today’s graduates be proficient in core academic subjects, they need to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators. They need global awareness, economic, financial, and civic literacy.  No matter what the future holds for each student, these 21st century skills will be demanded of them. We are integrating 21st century learning skills with rigorous and relevant academic instruction which are in line with district’s Strategic Plan. One of our top pri-

orities is to continue to raise the bar so students gain the skills they will need to compete in an economy that runs on information and demands vision and innovation. Keeping Evans pace with the technology is a focus for our staff. Although the district is again faced with reduced local and state funding that has led to unprecedented budget challenges, through shared commitment, thoughtful planning and a strong accountability system, we will continue to offer the extraordinary education programs that this community has come to know. I am looking forward to working with our entire Forsyth County Schools community, as we move ahead to meet the needs of every student.   I wish you all the best for the 2012-13 school year. L.C. (Buster) Evans, Superintendent Forsyth County Schools

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jsami@forsythnews.com

The Forsyth County school system continues to grow. About 38,000 students will be in class when school begins Aug. 9, an increase of about 1,400 over last year. But with a new elementary school opening and new staff members, the system is ready to handle the increase. “There’s so much excitement around the beginning of the school year. We see it with parents, we see it with teachers, we see it with kids and

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we see it with the community,” said Superintendent Buster Evans. About 150 families are registering students daily. “They’re literally coming from everywhere,” Evans said. “It means that we will very likely have to do a little bit more adjusting and we may even have to do some late hiring.” With the new school year comes an entirely new system of learning across the state. Dubbed the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, the initiative will create a uniform set of expectations that will make Georgia students comparable to 46 of the nation’s states. In a recent statement, State School Superintendent John Barge said the standards “can help ensure some


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Starts level of consistency in what is taught from state to state.” “These standards will better prepare our students for success beyond high school and allow us to see how we measure up against other states,” he said. State educators have been training for the new standard for more than a year and local administrators recently attended a summit on it, which Barge said doesn’t change curriculum much, since Georgia currently uses similar standards to those in Common Core. Fonda Harrison, director of elementary education for Forsyth’s schools, said preparations for the change have been going on for a while. “We started just before school started last year and did orientation sessions with teacher leaders from all of our schools … to develop materials teachers will need to be able to teach the new standards,” she said. Among changes students will notice is learning concepts and theories at an earlier age. The Pythagorean Theorem, for example, will be taught in eighth grade instead of ninth, multiplication and division of large numbers will be taught in third grade, instead of fourth or fifth. Harrison said math will be the biggest challenge. The key, she said will be “making sure that we’re monitoring our students’ progress and keeping them moving so that we don’t get stagnant … and that we’re progressing them to the next level.” Teachers will work closely with students at all levels to make sure they understand one concept before moving onto the next. While there are some major adjustments, Harrison said the new standard is welcome. “We’ve had issues before with students who have transferred, particularly from other states into Georgia,” she said. “So from that standpoint, I think it’s going to be good. “The level of rigor is more than we’ve experienced … I think it’s going to be good.” As the system prepares for the new Common Core standard, it’s also heading into its second year for some programs introduced last year, including the STEM Academy at Central High

‘There’s so much excitement around the beginning of the school year.’ Buster Evans

Superintendent

School and iAchieve Virtual Academy. The STEM — short for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — Academy focuses on those areas, combining core classes with career-technical course offerings to give students real– world experience. Central was the first high school in the system to get the program. Rooms were shifted and the school added science labs and other tools and equipment to give students a practical approach to science. The 82 students enrolled last year participated in the academy’s engineering and biotechnology programs, as well as co-curricular events including a science fair, Olympiad and robotics and rocketry competitions. Nearly 120 students have signed for the program for the coming year, though there has been one major change. The interest has shifted from engineering to biotechnology, said Kelly Price, curriculum coordinator in science, math and gifted programs for the school system. Last year, 59 percent of the students enrolled selected engineering as their focus. This year, the numbers switched, with 59 focusing on biotechnology. Overall, however, Price said there is a “heightened interest in STEM education.” “All future career forecasts state that the highest paying and fastest growing occupations in the years to come will be in STEM areas,” she said. “From elementary schools implementing more science instruction and setting up science labs in their schools to the continued growth in the Forsyth County engineering and robotics programs, there is a great momentum towards Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics success and co-curricular programs and competitions. This momentum will benefit the students, the community and the economic development of Forsyth County.”

PAGE 4 ­— BACK TO SCHOOL — AUGUST 2012

Autumn Vetter Forsyth County News

Lauren Mitchell, left, and mother Susan make their way into Sharon Elementary during its Kindergarten Round-up on Thursday. The event helps incoming kindergarteners prepare for school.

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Motorists encouraged to pack patience, extra time By Crystal Ledford

cledford@forsythnews.com

Motorists should be prepared to watch out for yellow buses beginning Thursday. Garry Puetz is director of the Forsyth County Schools’ transportation department, which he said will carry some 22,000 students on nearly 300 school buses each school day this year. “It’s grown every year that I’ve been here and this is my eight year, and I know it was growing before then,” Puetz said. “Students and parents keep coming to Forsyth County because it’s a great school system, and we’re proud to be a part of helping them get a high quality education.” Puetz said the first couple of weeks of every school year are a time when drivers, students and parents are establishing routines. “Transporting 22,000 kids twice a day and dealing with all the issues that come with

traffic and all that, there will be a few bugs and I’d ask parents to be a little bit patient,” he said. “But let us know what we need to do to improve what we’re doing. “We expect we’ll have things ironed out within days but … there will be some bumps in the road, but they’re not anything that the parents and the transportation department can’t resolve.” Puetz advised parents to visit the transportation department’s Web site or Parent Portal, an online communications system, to find important information prior to Thursday. “We’d ask parents to prepare by knowing where their bus stop location is and the time they need to be out there,” he said. “They can also learn about what they can do to help us protect their students, how to supervise students at the stop and on the way to the stop, and teach them the correct way to be See BUSES | 6

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Reminder: Follow n a c e D A g c n i a d m e m m u y C Ages 18 months through Adult the rules in schools District tough on bullying By Alyssa LaRenzie

alarenzie@forsythnews.com

The rules in Forsyth County Schools have stayed basically the same as last year, but officials are urging parents and their children to review the student code of conduct. The districtwide document contains information on discipline, dress code, technology, safety and other regulations. No major changes have been made to the code since last year, but the system added some information on attendance and the state teenage driving law, said Todd Shirley, director of school safety and student discipline. “We really pretty much are staying status quo on it for the most part,” Shirley said. “Please read the code of conduct and if there are any questions, they can contact their local schools or they are welcome to contact the safety department.” The code of conduct for the system will be distributed on the first day and is also available on the district’s Web site, said Chris Grimes, school safety manager. The codes are divided into handbooks for students in kindergarten through fifth grades and another for sixth through 12th grades. Individual schools also have regulations to keep class running smoothly and students safe. The school district instituted Bring Your

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Buses safe around and on a school bus.” For students, the department offers its SOAR program. SOAR stands for “Safe, Orderly and Respectful” behavior. Puetz said elementary students and their parents are invited to the department’s first SOAR Back to School Safety Fair from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center. The event will provide training in five school bus safety procedures, as well as exhibits from Forsyth County and school

Own Technology, or BYOT, to allow students to bring electronic devices into the classroom for educational purposes. “We want kids to bring their own technology. We’ve found that they’re more engaged in the classroom,” Grimes said. “Some of that is at your own risk.” He said students should use common sense in securing those devices, such as not leaving a cell phone out unattended. Cell phones, Shirley said, can be used only for educational purposes during school. “The key there is that the kid does not abuse it during the school day,” he said. “They need to respect what the teachers say about the phones.” When it comes to discipline, Shirley said the wide range of possible measures can be confusing to students and parents. “It may say anything from a conference up to out-of-school suspension,” he said. “That does not mean if a student violates the code of conduct that they are going to get a conference first. “It is up to the discretion of the administration, the past history of what the school has done and all components of the disciplinary violation will be taken into account.” The bottom line for bullying, Shirley said, is that it will not be tolerated.

On the Net Copies of the code of conduct for Forsyth County Schools are also available online at www.forsyth.k12.ga.us.

system departments, and a visit from the SOAR mascot, Elvis the School Bus Safety Owl. As for motorists, Puetz advised they allow themselves extra time and possibly find alternative routes during the first couple weeks of school.

On the Net Information such as school bus stop locations and times can be found on the Forsyth County SchoolsTransportation Department’s Web site at www.forsyth. k12.ga.us under “Departments.” It also has two safety Web sites for specifically for students and parents at www.gotsoar. com and www.soarwithelvis.com.

PAGE 6 ­— BACK TO SCHOOL — AUGUST 2012

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Forsyth County public schools Elementary schools Big Creek Elementary 1994 Peachtree Parkway Cumming, GA 30041 (770) 887-4584 fax: (770)781-2247 Sherri Black, principal sblack@forsyth.k12.ga.us Brookwood Elementary 2980 Vaughan Drive Cumming, GA 30041 (770) 965-5060 fax: (678) 965-5061 Kathie Braswell, principal kbraswell@forsyth.k12.ga.us Chattahoochee Elementary 2800 Holtzclaw Road Cumming, GA 30041 (770) 781-2240 fax: (770) 781-2244 Barbara Vella, principal bvella@forsyth.k12.ga.us Chestatee Elementary 6945 Keith Bridge Road Gainesville, GA 30501 (770) 887-2341 fax: (770) 781-2281 PollyTennies, principal ptennies@forsyth.k12.ga.us Coal Mountain Elementary 3455 Coal Mountain Drive Cumming, GA 30028 (770) 887-7705 fax: (770) 781-2286 Debbie Smith, principal dsmith@forsyth.k12.ga.us Cumming Elementary 540 Dahlonega Street Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 887-7749 fax: (770) 888-1233 Pamela Pajerski, principal ppajerski@forsyth.k12.ga.us Daves Creek Elementary 3740 Melody Mizer Laner Cumming, GA 30041 (770) 888-1222 fax: (770) 888-1223 Eric Ashton, principal eashton@forsyth.k12.ga.us Haw Creek Elementary 2555 Echols Road

Cumming, GA 30041 (678) 965-5070 fax: (678) 965-5071 Amy Davis, principal ardavis@forsyth.k12.ga.us Johns Creek Elementary 6205 Old Atlanta Road Suwanee, GA 30024 (678) 965-5041 fax: (678) 475-1725 Alyssa Degliumberto, principal adegliumberto@forsyth.k12.ga.us Kelly Mill Elementary 1180 Chamblee Gap Road Cumming, GA 30040 (678) 965-4953 fax: (678) 965-4958 Ron McAllister, principal rmcallister@forsyth.k12.ga.us Mashburn Elementary 3777 Samples Road Cumming, GA 30041 (770) 889-1630 fax: (770) 888-1202 Tracey Smith, principal tbsmith@forsyth.k12.ga.us Matt Elementary 7455 WallaceTatum Road Cumming, GA 30028 (678) 455-4500 fax: (678) 455-4514 Charlley Stalder, principal cstalder@forsyth.k12.ga.us Midway Elementary 4805 Atlanta Highway Alpharetta, GA 30040 (770) 475-6670 fax: (770) 521-1866 Todd Smith, principal   tsmith@forsyth.k12.ga.us Sawnee Elementary 1616 Canton Highway Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 887-6161 fax: (770) 781-2254 Eileen Nix, principal ecnix@forsyth.k12.ga.us  Settles Bridge Elementary 600 James Burgess Road Suwanee, GA 30024 (770) 887-1883

See SCHOOLS | 10

PAGE 8 ­— BACK TO SCHOOL — AUGUST 2012

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Schools fax: (770) 887-7383 Donna Morris, principal dmorris@forsyth.k12.ga.us Sharon Elementary 3595 Old Atlanta Road Suwanee, GA 30024 (770) 888-7511 fax: (770) 888-7510 Amy Bartlett, principal   abartlett@forsyth.k12.ga.us  Shiloh Point Elementary 8145 Majors Road Cumming, GA 30041 (678) 341-6481 fax: (678) 341-6491 Rebecca Johnson, principal rjohnson@forsyth.k12.ga.us Silver City Elementary 6200 Dahlonega Hwy. Cumming, GA 30028 (678) 965-5020 fax: (678) 965-5021 Paige Andrews, principal pandrews@forsyth.k12.ga.us Vickery Creek Elementary 6280 Post Road Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 346-0040 fax: (770) 346-0045 Kristan Reidinger, principal   kmorse@forsyth.k12.ga.us Whitlow Elementary 3655 Castleberry Road Cumming, GA 30041 (678) 965-5090 fax: (678) 965-5091 Lynne Castleberry, principal lcastleberry@forsyth.k12.ga.us

Middle schools Lakeside Middle 2565 Echols Road Cumming, GA 30024 (678) 965-5080 fax: (678) 965-5081 Debbie Sarver, principal dsarver@forsyth.k12.ga.us Liberty Middle 7465 WallaceTatum Road Cumming, GA 30028

(770) 781-4889 fax: (678) 513-3877 Connie Stovall, principal cstovall@forsyth.k12.ga.us Little Mill Middle 6800 Little Mill Road Cumming, GA 30041 (678) 965-5000 fax: (678) 965-5001 Connie McCrary, principal cmccrary@forsyth.k12.ga.us North Forsyth Middle 3645 Coal Mountain Drive Cumming, GA 30028 (770) 889-0743 fax: (770) 888-1210 Jeff Hunt, principal jhunt@forsyth.k12.ga.us  Otwell Middle 605Tribble Gap Road Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 887-5248 fax: (770) 888-1214 Steve Miller, principal stmiller@forsyth.k12.ga.us Piney Grove Middle 8135 Majors Road Cumming, GA 30041 (678) 965-5010 fax: (678) 965-5011 Terri North, principal   tnorth@forsyth.k12.ga.us Riverwatch Middle 610 James Burgess Road Suwanee, GA 30024 (678) 455-7311 fax: (678) 455-7316 Kathy Carpenter, principal kcarpenter@forsyth.k12.ga.us South Forsyth Middle 2865 Old Atlanta Road Cumming, GA 30041 (770) 888-3170 fax: (770) 888-3179 SandyTinsley, principal stinsley@forsyth.k12.ga.us Vickery Creek Middle 6240 Post Road Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 667-2580 fax: (770) 667-2593 Kathy Rohacek, principal krohacek@forsyth.k12.ga.us

See SCHOOLS | 11

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Schools High schools Forsyth Central High 520Tribble Gap Road Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 887-8151 fax: (770) 781-2289 Rudy Hampton, principal rhampton@forsyth.k12.ga.us Lambert High 805 Nichols Road Suwanee, GA 30024 (678) 965-5050 fax: (678) 965-5051 Gary Davison, principal gdavison@forsyth.k12.ga.us North Forsyth High 3635 Coal Mountain Drive Cumming, GA 30028 (770) 781-6637 fax: (770) 781-2273 Beth Hebert, principal bhebert@forsyth.k12.ga.us

South Forsyth High 585 Peachtree Parkway Cumming, GA 30041 (770) 781-2264 fax: (770) 888-1224 Jeff Cheney, principal jcheney@forsyth.k12.ga.us

Academies of Creative Education (ACE) 1130 Dahlonega Highway Cumming, GA 30040 Includes Forsyth Academy (non-traditional charter high school), the Academy at Night (770) 781-3141 Gateway Academy (alternative program), and iAchieve Virtual Academy (6-12 online school) (770) 781-2299 Brad Smith, principal basmith@forsyth.k12.ga.us

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Board of education District 1 — Ann Crow Ann Crow, an Atlanta native and graduate of Auburn University, began her third term on the board in January 2011. She, husband Roger and their three daughters became Forsyth County residents in 1984. Crow is executive vice president of Crow Financial Services Inc., a business services firm. Crow She has served the Forsyth County community as a director, officer and campaign chairwoman of the United Way; member and past president of Sawnee Woman’s Club; and officer and director of the Cumming/Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce where she led establishment of the chamber’s education committee. In addition, Crow was the cochairwoman of the 1996 school system Strategic Plan Initiative, which is the system’s operating guide today; member of the Board of Education’s Blue Ribbon Task Force, Standard Bearer Evaluation Committee and 2001 SPLOST Referendum Committee.

District 2 — Kristin Morrissey Kristin Morrissey has a computer science degree from the State University of New York and Monroe Community College. She also studied microelectronic engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. Morrissey retired after 16 years as an automation specialist for the Monroe Morrissey County Library System. Morrissey and husband Joe have two children, Mackenzie and Sydney. She also graduated from the Georgia Academy for Economic Development and Leadership

Forsyth. She’s a member of the Forsyth County Library Board of Trustees, Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Quality of Life Council and is secretary for the Forsyth County Community Connection. Morrissey was elected to the school board in November 2010 to replace Mike Dudgeon, now District 24 state representative.

District 3 — Tom Cleveland, chairman Raised in DeKalb County, Tom Cleveland moved his family to Forsyth County in 1995, where his two sons attended Forsyth County schools. He began his second term on the board in January 2009. Cleveland is employed by Sage Software as the leader of HR operations Cleveland and has spent his career implementing information technology solutions, with the past 10 years specializing in the human resources area. Cleveland served as the co-chair of the Vision 2010 steering committee, member of the teacher of the year selection committee, sex education committee and other various roles in the school system. He currently serves as a worship team member at First Baptist Cumming, a disaster assistance team member with the American Red Cross and a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services group within the county.

District 4 — Darla Light, vice chair Raised in Forsyth County, Darla Light graduated from Forsyth County High School and attended the University of Georgia, where she majored in special education. She began her term in January 2009. She and husband, David, a for-

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private schools mer educator, live in Forsyth County with their three children — Christopher and Payton, both of whom are graduates of Forsyth County Schools and are enrolled in college, and Carlin, a student at North Forsyth Middle School. Light has served Light as a PTSO officer at elementary and middle schools and coached middle school basketball. She is a member of FCSO 2400 Challenge Committee, is active in the North Forsyth 400 Rotary Club and is a small business owner.

District 5 — Nancy Roche Nancy Roche, who began her third term on the board in January 2009, has a B.S. in computer science and mathematics. She has previously worked as a systems analyst for IBM. A member of the Forsyth County Board of Education since 2001, Roche served as chairwoman in 2003 and from 2005-2008. She was appointed to the Georgia School Board Associations Board of Directors in June 2007. She has served GSBA on the Roche strategic planning committee, governmental operations committee, nominating committee and serves as a presenter and mentor for new board members. Roche is a member of the Deer Creek Shores Presbyterian Church where she sings in the choir, teaches Sunday school and serves on the Christian Education Committee, the Preschool Board of Directors and the Presbyterian Women. She is also member of the Forsyth County Republican Party and the Republican Women. Roche’s husband, Chris, is retired from IBM.They have three children: Christopher, Andrea andTerry.

Cornerstone Schools 4888 Browns Bridge Road Cumming, GA 30041 www.cornerstonesch.com Pre School: Cheri Davis, director, (770) 205-6860 Elementary and Jr. High: Angela Martin, head mistress (770) 205-8202 Enrollment: 200 Students Head Mistress: Angela Martin Covenant Christian Academy 6905 Post Road Cumming (770) 674-2990 www.covenantrams.org Grades: K4-12 Enrollment: 230 Headmaster: Johnathan Arnold Friendship Christian School 3160 Old Atlanta Road Suwanee, GA 30024 (678) 845-0418 www.fcsga.org Grades: K-12, Enrollment: 121 Principal: Vasily Lantukh Horizon Christian Academy 2160 Freedom Parkway Cumming (678) 947-3583 www.horizonchristian.org Grades: K-12 Enrollment: 197 Headmaster: Gary Bennett McGinnis Woods Country Day School 5368 McGinnis Ferry Road Alpharetta (770) 664-7764 www.mcginniswoods.org Grades: Infants-eighth grade Enrollment: 450 Principal: Mary Johnson Pinecrest Academy 955 Peachtree Parkway Cumming (770) 888-4477 www.pinecrestacademy.org Grades: PreK3-12 Enrollment: 850 Head of School: Robert Presutti


Lanier Tech makes strides

For the Forsyth County News

Lanier Technical College has had an exciting year so far in 2012.  The college was awarded accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges on its first credentialing presentation. The SACS COC accreditation opens more opportunities for current and future Lanier Tech students to continue on their higher education and broadens their career opportunities.  The SACS COC accreditation means that credits earned by Lanier Tech students will be easier to transfer to other institutions of higher learning, making the students’ higher education pursuits easier to attain. The Commission of the Council on Occupational Education also accredits Lanier Tech. The college’s summer term 2012 has a total enrollment of nearly 2,300 students, with more than 500 students enrolled at the Forsyth campus. The local campus is an educational provider hub of in-demand programs of study in the areas of business and computer, technical and industrial, personal and public services and health care. The programs of study offered at the Forsyth campus have proven to support

the local community with well-trained graduates with needed skills for many industries. Lanier Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, serves as the foremost work force development resource for Banks, Barrow, Dawson, Forsyth, Hall, Jackson and Lumpkin counties by providing technical education, customized industry training, adult education. Located on the Forsyth campus, the Forsyth Conference Center is designed for conferences, seminars, corporate meetings, receptions, trade shows, weddings, proms and many other public and school events. The main facility has 14,000 square feet that can be divided into eight rooms for smaller meetings, an executive boardroom and training classroom, which is available for additional meeting space. The conference center assisted the college in bringing more than 46,000 people to the Forsyth campus. For weddings and social events, the center offers flexible options to meet community needs in an elegant, affordable setting. The center offers a range of services, including audiovisual, wireless Internet, video conferencing and laptop rentals, among others.

Lanier Technical College students Sandy Reed, left, and Florence Haynes prepare for graduation in June.

FCN regional staff

BACK TO SCHOOL — AUGUST 2012 — PAGE 13


College site nearly ready in Cumming University Center | GA 400 campus set to open this month By Crystal Ledford

cledford@forsythnews.com

Construction workers are busy putting the finishing touches inside the new University Center | GA 400 campus. They’ll soon move out, making room for more than 400 students registered for the opening semester of the new campus, which is a joint project between Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega. Sherman Day, executive director of the center, said staff members have begun moving into the 38,000-square-foot, $7 million facility on Pilgrim Mill Road, near the Cumming Aquatic Center and Georgia Drivers Services Office. “The fire marshal has given us an occupancy certificate that allows us to move furniture and faculty in and to move around without hard hats on,” he said. “Final occupancy will come … about Aug. 10. “Everything’s ready to go.” While a ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for Aug. 16, classes will begin on Aug. 13. T h e G e o rg i a B o a r d o f Regents earlier this year approved the consolidation of North Georgia and Gainesville State into one institution that will be called University of North Georgia. The two schools officially will become that university in January. In the meantime, Day said classes would be held under the two universities with Gainesville students starting Aug. 13 and North Georgia students on Aug. 20. Day is pleased so many students are learning about the cen-

ter. “Having over 400 students register for fall semester has exceeded our wildest dreams,” he said. Day noted the facility makes good use of its space. “This is built solely for function. This is going to be the most functional building that you can imagine,” he said. “Everything has a purpose and it’s all usable space.” Bryan Rhoden, project superi n t e n d e n t w i t h Wi n t e r Construction, agreed, saying the building provides a lot of bang for the buck. “It’s a different type of space because of everything we’re getting out of it for the price,” he said. “Compared to what we build for most colleges and schools, which are like $20 to $25 million, and this is for a little over $7 million, you get so much space in it.” Day said that space includes eight classrooms on the first floor, which will be used primarily for core education classes. There are also several others on the second floor, which will be used primarily for the campus’ associate of nursing degree and master of business administration programs, as well as continuing education courses. Day said all of the classrooms will feature the most current technological learning tools. “Everything in this building is state-of-the-art IT and AV, so you’ll see screens, everything will have projectors, TVs, smart boards,” he said. “So it’s technically as advanced as you can be until the next building is built.” The North Georgia Team MBA program has been housed for several years on the fourth floor of Cumming City Hall and

PAGE 14 ­— BACK TO SCHOOL — AUGUST 2012

Autumn Vetter Forsyth County News

Construction on the new University Center | GA 400 campus in Cumming is nearly complete.

will be relocated to the new campus in the next couple of weeks, Day said. That program is an example of the city of Cumming’s strong support of the college, Day said, noting that Mayor H. Ford Gravitt was a “driving force” behind getting the campus. “You really can’t talk about it without mentioning him,” Day said. “This is a project that the mayor really is responsible for.” The city provided $4 million for the new campus, which it loaned to a college foundation group that will repay the money over the course of about 10 years. An additional $3 million came from the state. Besides classroom space, the campus also boasts a large “learning center,” or library, and a multi-purpose room that can be used for instruction or by the community. There’s also a “food pod” area, which will sell items like sandwiches and salads to students, and a front desk that Day

called a “one stop shop.” “If you have questions about your financial aid or you lost your [student] ID or anything like that, this will be the central location,” he said. The campus has a 100-spot parking lot, which Day said will initially be supplemented by an adjacent gravel lot. “I suspect by the end of the first year or two, we’ll have a second parking lot,” he said. While there are a few, the campus doesn’t dedicate much space to offices. “Nothing’s fancy,” Day said. “It’s very efficient … you look at the size of the offices and they’re not palatial, but they’re adequate.” In the way of administration, Day said the campus will have himself, an assistant director and an administrative assistant. “We’ll also staff [the administrative area] with student workers, so that will give them a good opportunity to have some income while they’re in school,”

On the Net For more information about University Center | GA 400, visit www.northgeorgia.edu/ universitycenter.

Day said. Most of the campus’ instructional faculty will be housed at the two schools’ main campuses in Dahlonega and Gainesville, although there will be two nursing and two education instructors that will teach only at the Cumming site. But the campus does offer several “very small offices” for visiting faculty if they need a space to meet one on one with a student, Day said. Day’s “elated” to see the building constructed and on track for student use. “We were on a fast track to get this open and we’re just delighted that it’s going to be ready and very functional,” he said.


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Forsyth Back to School 2012