Gwinnett County, GA - Gwinnett County’s 172,000 students return to class today—that number if 3,200 higher than last year.
The county is opening its first school since 2011, Northbrook Middle School in Suwanee. It will relieve the over burgeoning Hull Middle School in the Peachtree Ridge cluster.
“We relieved maybe 700-800 kids from them, so we’ll be starting off with close to 1,000 kids,” says Principal Keith Thompson.
The school, on Northbrook Parkway, is a rehabbed Panasonic warehouse that includes a total of three buildings. One will serve as a warehouse for furniture for the entire Gwinnett Public School System.
Construction to convert the site to a school began in January 2013 at the cost of $17 million.
Thompson says because of its previous life, many of the classrooms are larger than those in existing schools. In total it has 30 classrooms, 12 science labs, two computer labs, two band rooms and an art room.
“I can’t tell you how exciting it is,” he says. “We have been working every single day preparing for this particular day here.”
Stacie Humphreys is one of 50 teachers at the new school. She decided to move after teaching at Hull for the past ten years.
“I got excited that we could reduce our numbers a little bit, give a little more personal attention to the kids, and I just think it’s going to be an exciting opportunity to just have small numbers,” she tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
A new county-approved charter school is also opening this school year in Gwinnett. North Metro Academy of the Performing Arts will open its doors for the first time to students in Norcross.