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Athens City Schools breaks ground for HEART Academy at Julian Newman Elementary School

ATHENS — Achieving results together is a keystone to the HEART Academy in Athens.

(Rendering by McKee and Associates/Athens City Schools)

And this week administrators, staff and students came together to break ground for the academy at Julian Newman Elementary School.

“This is such an exciting day in ACS and in our community. Our new HEART Academy at Julian Newman Elementary campus will not only meet the needs of our students,
faculty, and staff, but also the growth of our community,” said Beth Patton, Athens City
Schools Superintendent.

The $26 million rebuild and renovation is at the previous school site at 517 Julian Newman Drive. HEART (Helping Everyone Achieve Results Together) Academy at JNES will encompass more than 85,000 square feet and house some 700 students when completed in the fall 2025.

“I’m absolutely thrilled about the rebuild and renovation for JNES,” said Principal Sharla Birdsong. “We will all be excited to watch this project unfold and take shape into a wonderful learning environment for both students and teachers.”

The facility is designed by McKee and Associates and Lee Builders is constructing the state-of-the-art school.

The school features:

  • 29 Standard Classrooms
  • 3 Special Education Classrooms
  • 6 Shared Classroom Spaces
  • Music Classroom
  • Art Classroom
  • HEART Lab
  • Cafeteria
  • Media Center
  • 2 Storm Shelters for students, faculty and staff
  • 2 Renovated Gymnasiums
Julian Newman Elementary School, named after former Athens City Schools Superintendent Julian Newman Sr., opened in 1964. The former building closed last May and students are taking classes temporarily at the City Schools Clinton Street campus.
(McKee and Associates rendering/Athens City Schools)

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