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story.lead_photo.caption Fulton Public Schools will be hosting a special facilities planning community forum 6-8 p.m. Thursday at McIntire Elementary. During the forum, school officials will inform the public of updates in their strategic planning with Hollis + Miller Architects and gather feedback. Photo by Quinn Wilson / Fulton Sun.

Fulton Public Schools will be hosting a special facilities planning community forum this Thursday evening.

The opportunity for public input will occur 6-8 p.m. at McIntire Elementary. During the forum, school officials will inform the public of updates in their strategic planning with Hollis + Miller Architects and gather feedback.

"We hope, after this forum, the (Board of Education) will have enough information to start moving towards making a decision in mid-fall," FPS superintendent Jacque Cowherd said.

Representatives from Hollis + Miller will give a presentation to the crowd on options for new construction and facility improvements in the district. Cowherd said the main talking points of the evening will include infrastructure throughout the district, a new competition gym at Fulton High School and K-8 spacing issues throughout the district.

Cowherd explained the district is looking to improve its infrastructure through a number of ways: improving the buildings' physical security, developing a stronger security system and improving upon security cameras.

"Secured buildings and security cameras are a big priority for us as a district," Cowherd said.

Spacing issues affect buildings from Fulton Middle School down to the Fulton Early Childhood Center. Cowherd said officials are looking to create space in existing buildings or to explore outside-the-box options such as purchasing Rice Hall in Fulton.

"Hollis + Miller will be previewing data on the proper space needed for student learning and how to create optimal learning environments for students," Cowherd said.

The community forum will be broadcast via Facebook Live on FPS' Facebook page. Viewers can submit questions or concerns online to be shared at the forum. Cowherd said FPS will have a plan Thursday on how to properly manage questions submitted through Facebook Live. Cowherd said the district intends to leave the video of the community forum on their page for at least a week after the forum.

"We're hoping to receive good input (at the forum). We took a newspaper strategy earlier on and now we're focusing on a social media strategy," Cowherd said.

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