GREENSBORO, NC – July 12, 2022 – Guilford County Schools (GCS) Superintendent Dr. Sharon L. Contreras and North Carolina A&T State University Chancellor Dr. Harold A. Martin are pleased to announce that the district and the University are working with the Gateway Research Park, Inc. a joint venture partnership of North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, to build a Community Education Center. The facility will be used to address the negative impact of COVID-19 on the district’s students, families, staff, and community. The Community Education Center is currently envisioned to provide flex spaces with tutoring, adult education, and community meeting rooms for students and adults. The Center is expected to open in 2024.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted our communities and disrupted the workforce,” said Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras. “The new Community Education Center will increase the potential of accelerating learning by serving as a high-dosage tutoring hub for students and will provide professional, high-tech learning spaces for GCS teachers and leaders.”
The Center will further provide in-demand job training for parents and community members. We are excited to work with North Carolina A&T State University to design a facility that prioritizes professional development, academic support for students, access to high-speed broadband connectivity for families, and workforce development opportunities for our parents.
Dr. Harold A. Martin shared the Superintendent’s sentiments. “The data consistently show that student learning suffered across the country during the worst of the COVID pandemic when in-person instruction was not available,” said North Carolina A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “This center represents a pro-active approach to do something about it. Our multi-institution collaboration will directly impact the students and families of Guilford County, and North Carolina A&T is proud to be playing a significant role in that service to our neighbors and this community.”
The Community Education Center is currently in the planning stages. It is targeted to be located at the Gateway Research Park’s South Campus (2901 East Gate City Boulevard) and is a critical component of the GCS’ ESSER plan funded by COVID-19 federal relief dollars approved by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
Two weeks ago, at the urging of the Guilford County legislative delegation, the North Carolina General Assembly included a provision in the state budget to allow the Gateway Research Park to enter into a lease agreement with the Guilford County Board of Education for a minimum term of 50 years, a requirement for the use of federal funding to build the Center. The budget was signed by Governor Roy Cooper yesterday.
At is July 12, 2022, meeting, the Guilford County Board of Education authorized GCS staff to execute appropriate documents to effectuate the creation of a 50-year lease for the Community Education Center on the campus of the Gateway Research Park.