Former YMCA Complex to Become New Charter School
Published November 9th, 2012
GAINESVILLE - As the YMCA of north central Florida deals with its financial hardships, one of their old facilities is getting a new 'lease' on life.
The McGurn Family YMCA complex in east Gainesville was one of the first casualties of the Y's bankruptcy filing. It was put up for sale as management tries to climb its way back out of bankruptcy. But after sitting neglected for months, a mother-and-daughter team now has plans to turn that facility into one of Gainesville's newest charter schools.
Megan Lane, along with her mother, Kay Abbitt, plan on making their new charter school into one of the county's first-ever year-round schools.
"The problem is a lot of kids are reading below grade level, and if you have more hours of instruction with the extended day, and more school days in the school year, it has to help bring them up a little bit," says Abbitt. Both she and her daughter are lifelong educators with a passion for teaching. They wanted to implement the extended school year in their charter school in order to better educate students.
"I've never seen this done in the county before," says Alachua County School Board member Eileen Roy. She and the rest of the school board approved the planned charter school's contract earlier this week. "They have a good rationale for doing it this way, so we will see how this works out," says Roy.
According to the contract, the school's name will be the "Boulware Springs Charter School" and is scheduled to open its doors in July of 2013. It will be Gainesville's fifteenth charter school. Lane and Abbitt are still waiting for the sale of the former McGurn facility to go through before they can start any work on the building.
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