Lively Technical Center is a state-of-the-art facility located on Appleyard Drive, adjacent to Tallahassee Community College. Opening doors to thousands of students throughout its history, Lively has the potential to provide opportunities for even more students in our community. It is our intent to optimize resources available at Lively Technical Center while strengthening the future of Leon County Schools’ ACE program.
Adult and Community Education, currently located on Trojan Trail near Apalachee Elementary and Lincoln High, provides a much-needed service for critical members of our community. Among other programming, ACE offers GED classes for hundreds of students onsite and at satellite locations throughout the community. These classes prepare our students, both young and old, to receive a diploma they might not have earned otherwise. ACE has also been home to the Adults with Disabilities Program, funded by a meager state grant of $225,000, which was severely cut by the Florida Legislature several years ago. The Adults with Disabilities Program is important to Leon County Schools, so we are dedicated to preserving it in spite of these cuts.
We propose moving ACE to the Lively campus because it offers numerous benefits for our students. Highly respected for providing technical schooling, Lively’s program includes opportunities in such fields as welding, culinary arts, barbering, and photography. As an established institution, Lively has the resources to leverage funding options for the ACE curriculum. The relocation site on the Lively campus has more than 30,000 square feet of available space including bathrooms, parking, access to a bus ramp, and the necessary accommodations for students in our Adults with Disabilities Program. Lively Technical Center has a full-time School Resource Deputy offering assistance for the students and staff. The campus is also enclosed on two sides with eight-foot-tall permanent wrought-iron fencing.
Currently, the Adults with Disabilities Program serves students only four days a week for a total of 22 hours. With this relocation, we will expand services to five days a week, totaling over 32 hours. Shuttles will also be provided both in the morning and afternoon to accommodate students with transportation issues.
With the relocation of ACE on the Lively campus, LCS is also recommending Pace Secondary School be moved from its current facility on Zillah Street near Fairview Middle School to the site that will have formerly been occupied by ACE. Pace Secondary School serves our young students who have been diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders. Pace provides educational opportunities for some of the community’s most vulnerable students, but its current facility is in disrepair. The Pace campus occupies thirty out-of-date portables with no canopies to shelter students during rain. The portables, and our children inside, are also extremely susceptible during severe weather incidents.
These changes will save our school system $95,000 annually. Each year, Pace spends approximately $45,000 on utilities and another $50,000 on maintenance. The Pace staff has been pleading with the district for years to move their students to a safe location. Leon County Schools is proud to finally have a solution that offers the Pace staff and students a safe campus with the learning environment they so deserve. The abundance of unoccupied space at Lively, coupled with the underutilization of the current Adult and Community Education facility, makes this move fiscally responsible.
Relocating students and staff is never an easy thing to do, but we believe--in this case--it is essential. The team at Leon County Schools will continue to place the safety of our students and their classroom experiences as the most important components in the decision-making process. We are confident that relocating ACE to Lively Technical Center and Pace Secondary School to the Trojan Trail property next fall will result in the best possible learning experience for all students.