Updated Wed, Apr 4, 2012 6:09 pm
More than a month after the Athens City School Board voted to close Chauncey Elementary School's doors, the Athens City School District has found a new purpose for the soon-to-vacant building.
Superintendent Carl Martin said the district's four preschool programs will be consolidated and will be housed in the Chauncey building this fall.
"[The building] is still a good asset, and if we're not going to use it as an elementary school than you really only have a couple of choices," said Martin. "To let it sit idle and deteriorate or try to maintain the activity of the building and its vitality."
Martin said that consolidating the preschools will allow the teachers to have more space for their classrooms and will provide opportunities for preschool teachers to work together.
"It will allow the teachers to do a lot more collaboration and work with each other since they see each other on a daily basis. [They can] share materials and in general, they'll be able to establish a really nice work and learning environment," he said.
The school board decided to close the elementary school to save the district money due to low enrollment, but Martin says that using the building as a pre-school will not be an added expense to the school district.
"If the building were to sit idle, we would still have to run utilities and keep the building up," said Martin.
Martin said the school district has not decided on a name for the new consolidated preschool, but he's thinking of titles.
"I have thought about it a little bit. We'll probably look to identify the building so that people know that it's an early learning center," he said.
The new preschool is scheduled to open when school starts in August.