Havana Elementary and Middle Schools to Merge

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Havana, FL -- Arthur Mickens was born and raised in Havana, FL. Now a grandfather with young grandchildren, Mickens doesn't think kids need to go to the same school he did back in the 1950's.

"The facilities at the elementary school, I know, I went there 55 years ago, and the facilities are pretty much the same," said Mickens.

The plan is for Havana Elementary School to merge with Havana Middle School starting in the Fall of 2014. A $5 million addition housing Pre-kindergarten through the third grade would be added to the middle school.

The school board sees this as an opportunity to spend less on an aging Havana Elementary School, and more on modernizing the student experience at the middles school.

"The students in Havana Elementary School are in one of the oldest facilities in the district, they need a new facility. That's the primary reason we're doing it, to put them in a more modernized facility with the newest of technology," said Gadsden County superintendent Reginald James.

The new facility will include a minimum of 16 classrooms complete with state-of-the-art computer and smart board technology. It will also have a greater focus on the arts.

Mickens says in the end, it won't be about where the kids are.

"The building does not make the school, it is the principal, the staff, the teacher, and everyone down to those who clean the floors that make it," he said.

A community information session was held Monday evening to discuss the merge with parents.

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