The Galileo School for Gifted Learning in Sanford is moving a couple of miles down the road to a new facility that will be built for the charter school.
Work is expected to start on the eight-acre site at E. SR 46 and Cameron Avenue at the beginning of February 2016 with completion projected for June, in time for the new school year.
The current Galileo School is at 2251 Jitway Ave., just north of SR 46 in Sanford. The school is the former public Midway Elementary School.
The roughly $13 million Galileo project will create a 43,682 square foot tuition-free public charter school that is only one of a handful in Seminole County.
Todd Lucas, director of design and development for general contractor Summit Construction Management Group of Orlando, said his firm expects to submit necessary forms and documents to Seminole County's Planning Department in the next two to three weeks to prepare for construction.
Lucas said the company has a list of preferred bidders, and has selected 1x1 Design of Columbia, S.C., as architect.
The new school will be one story, sit on eight acres and house roughly 200 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
The facility will be among the half dozen schools that Summit Construction Management Group has built over the last four years, Lucas said.
The contractor plans to increase its focus on school construction for the foreseeable future.
"It's a market that in the next few years will explode because of different education policies and area population growth," Lucas said.
The new Galileo school will be owned by Seminole Education Facilities, a private company that builds charter schools. Galileo will have a 25-year lease with the option to buy in the fifth year, said principal Michelle Nunez. The first year's rent is around $350,000 as the operation adapts to its new facility. At year five, Galileo will be paying $663,000.
"The school will allow us to grow and is also being built to our curriculum model," Nunez said. "It will contain space to incorporate creative productivity workshops where students explore interests they are passionate about."
In addition to having June as a completion date so the school is ready for the new year, the month is also when Galileo's lease with the Seminole County school system ends.
Galileo leased buildings 5, 6, 9 and 10 — a total of 20,426 square feet — at a cost of $5,750 per month. The lease started July 1, 2011, and runs through June 30, 2016.
The Galileo School for Gifted Learning is designed to provide innovative, research-based education in a nurturing environment for gifted and talented students and those who want to learn in a gifted learning environment, the school's website says.
As a charter school, Galileo receives 60 percent of the revenue of traditional public schools. The Galileo School says all of its revenue is reinvested in technology, services or programs for students.
Students are required to wear school uniforms which must be purchased online through Lands' End. And parents of Galileo students are required to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours per school year.
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