Roswell and Fulton County Schools held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday to allow the public to view the site and hear the school plans.

Set to open in August 2021, the replacement Crabapple Middle School is under construction on Woodstock Road, around two miles from the current school’s location. The school was designed by the architectural firm of Stevens and Wilkinson and is being built by Evergreen Construction.

The 189,760 square foot school will sit on nearly 30 acres of land off Woodstock Road. The design includes multiple areas for small groups to collaborate and work. A tiered amphitheater space, 12 science labs, a construction lab and two art labs will also provide students with ample room for tactile learning.

“We’re all so truly grateful community who are invested and supportive of us and the work we do to ensure high quality learning,” Crabapple Middle School principal Dr. Rako Morrissey said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “The new Crabapple Middle School will be a space that represents focus on key life skills, collaboration, technology and problem solving.”

The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is the one-penny education sales tax that funds new school construction, additions and renovations, technology innovations, transportation upgrades and safety improvements. Since Fulton County Schools began using SPLOST in 1997, the county has built 46 new or replacement schools and 37 building additions.

“Look what one penny can do,” school board member Katha Stuart said. “Just by that one penny sales tax know as SPLOST we’re able to build these great new buildings for our students.”

A different location was originally being scouted, but according to Kirk Marchisen at Steven and Wilkinson Architects, at least $10 million was saved by selecting this site on Woodstock Road. The school will be almost 66,000 square feet larger than the old building, and the site includes room for a playfield and track, two basketball courts and four tennis courts.

“Students can learn and grow and play together,” Fulton County superintendent Dr. Mike Looney said. “What a beautiful opportunity this will be to provide a space and facility that’s adequate that allows those magical things to happen.”

Looney he is unsure what will be done with the old middle school, but that the county will make the best use of the property.

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