The Clayton County (Georgia) school district has broken ground on a $117 million Student Convocation Center and College and Career Academy at a former Sears store site at Southlake Mall in Morrow.
The Clayton News reports that the facility will enable the district to have a graduation facility of its own rather than rent facilities such as the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.
“We are building a state-of-the-art building that will have a convocation center, a career academy, and Junior Achievement,” School Board Chair Jessie Goree said. “It will be a building second to none. No other school board, no other county authority board, no other city, no development authority undertook such a building.”
The building is scheduled to open in summer 2025.
Clayton County School Superintendent Anthony Smith said one of the selling points of the center was partnering with other entities and governments such as Clayton County government, which provided $10 million for the project.
“By repurposing the existing infrastructure at Southlake Mall and the former Sears anchor store and eliminating the need to lease the graduation facilities, not only is this making efficient use of public funds, but it’s also a great example of sustainable development,” said Jared Server, an architect with Perkins&Will.