This week, Forsyth County School system officials released the first architectural renderings of an 1,800-seat performing arts center and three-story “Academy for Creative Education” which are proposed to be built behind the Forsyth County Board of Education building on Dahlonega Highway in the coming years.
According to Forsyth County School System Director of Communications Jennifer Caracciolo, these designs are tentative and have not received approval by the board, but a contract is expected to go up for approval this fall.
Until then, Caracciolo said that there are key elements of the project that are known, like the building’s capacity and uses.
The performing art center will have a main theater and black box with seating for 1,800 people, concessions, dressing rooms and storage, and will be available for performances for the county’s schools, student competitions, and performances from professional artists.
Caracciolo said that the performing arts center, along with major renovations to the performing arts centers at North Forsyth, South Forsyth and Forsyth Central high schools that began this summer, will provide a much-needed expansion to the system’s capacity to hold performances.
“With our growth and our programs, there’s not enough space for students to perform,” she said.
The proposed Academy for Creative Education will be the new home for the system’s alternative learning programs — Gateway Academy, Forsyth Academy and Forsyth Virtual Academy — which according to Caracciolo, are currently spread between different school system buildings.
This project is proposed to be built on land the school system has owned since the late 1990s. Funding for the project will come from the school bond that was approved by voters in May of 2018, which included more than $282 million for new facilities projects.
Caracciolo said that the project has a tentative completion date of late 2021 or early 2022.