The Fulton County Schools district is celebrating the construction kickoff for two planned magnet schools focused on science, technology, engineering and math.

Nov. 21, the district held the construction celebration, or groundbreaking ceremony, for its South Fulton STEM School on Shaw Drive in Fairburn. The following day, it hosted another groundbreaking for Innovation Academy, its north Fulton STEM school, on Milton Avenue in Alpharetta. Both schools are scheduled to open in August 2021.

“These schools reflect the priority our school board has placed on STEM education and giving students flagship opportunities to study in these areas,” said Cliff Jones, the district’s chief academic officer. “We are proud to be in the forefront of STEM education.”

Jones talked about the two new schools at the Fulton Board of Education’s Nov. 21 meeting at the South Learning Center in Union City. He said these new schools represent a huge bonus for students who have an aptitude and motivation related to STEM, “and (will) allow them to focus on science, technology engineering and math in a relevant and rigorous curriculum leading to career pathways.”

According to a news release about the construction of these two schools, students will study high-tech, high-demand, college- and career-focused courses that incorporate design thinking with an integrated curriculum.

At three stories and 245,000 square feet, Innovation Academy will be designed to accommodate 1,500 students with expansion for up to 1,800 students. It’s located on the site of the former Milton High campus.

In addition, many rooms at the school will be constructed with a planning module which will be conducive to laboratory design and allow these rooms to be easily converted to a laboratory design.

The South Fulton STEM School will be designed to accommodate 900 students within a 147,000-square-foot structure, with the school being constructed on a hill to take advantage of the existing topography and site ecology, the release stated. In addition, the courtyards are extensions of the classroom and provide opportunities for exploration and education.

The school’s student center will serve as the facility’s core, with this space housing the library/media center and the cafeteria. The school’s plans also call for a gymnasium, classrooms, an auditorium and an administration area.

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