However, the 2013-2014 school year will complete the grade-to-grade transition in accenting fine arts in the county as it will usher in a new high school magnet facility now under construction at what many see as an ideal site, the Performing Arts Center.
Clayton County Chief Operations Officer Cephus Jackson, Ph.D., said a new high school magnet arts building is under construction at the center and will adjoin the Performing Arts Center, 2530 Mt. Zion Parkway in Jonesboro, across from Mt. Zion High School.
Although it will be a stand alone structure, Jackson said, it would adjoin the Performing Arts Center, better known as PAC, through a display hallway on which student artwork and related fine arts items will be placed for viewing.
“The new high school arts magnet program will have a capacity of 890 students and will have its own school identification number,” Jackson said.
“Not only will its program include a performing arts curriculum but will include the traditional common core curriculum as well,” he added.
Jackson said those attending the magnet fine arts high school would be able to specialize in many areas included in the fine arts spectrum, especially performing and visual arts.
“Graduates of our fine arts high school program could well find themselves going on to careers in such things as costume design, stage production and related skilled performing arts areas,” Jackson said.
The new building is designed so that students may walk directly into the Performing Arts Center without having to venture outside in case of bad weather.
The new structure has a three story design and, when finished, Clayton County will have its three fine arts magnet school programs in Jonesboro.
In addition to the high school program at PAC, the county will have its fine arts elementary school magnet program headquartered at Jackson Elementary School, 7711 Mt. Zion Blvd and its middle school program at M.D. Roberts Middle School, 1905 Roberts Road.
Although Clayton’s high school performing arts structure will be the school system’s only new building to open, other projects are planned.
Jackson said the school system will break ground this coming school year on a new two-story fine arts magnet school wing at Roberts Middle School to replace the temporary structures now in place.
In addition, the school system is putting in new security camera equipment on all its elementary school campuses as student safety remains a big issue, Jackson said.