GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Guilford County Board of Education members voted Tuesday to move plans forward for a robotics and gaming magnet school at the site of Foust Elementary. 

The $33 million project will replace the current school that was built in 1965. 

“We are preparing students early for their dreams,” Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras said Wednesday. 

During construction, pre-k and kindergarten classes will take place at Murphey Traditional Elementary.  

First-fifth graders will attend Jackson Middle School. Both schools share a campus two miles away from the Foust site. 

“They would be sharing a playground which they do today. That playground actually allows for us to maximize the use for the campus,” district officials shared Tuesday night. 

Both schools are under capacity, and a new sidewalk will connect them for easier access. 

Other considerations are also in the works like a staggered bell schedule, transportation and tours for families.  

Site work on Foust’s campus is expected to begin at the end of next month with an anticipated opening in 2024.  

“We know that there will be a huge increase in the number of positions available throughout our state and nation in robotics in gaming in artificial intelligence,” Dr. Contreras said.  

District leaders say the state-of-the-art facility will set students up for success before high school and college. 

During Tuesday night’s board meeting Deborah Napper pointed to university investments like the new esports arena at UNCG. 

“This is a step towards the future, and our universities are already investing in it, so we need to, too. They’re showing us where we need to be. Our kids can go from kindergarten all the way…to a master’s level. We might be looking at a doctorate in this program, so why would we not want to do this?” she said. 

Board members also asked if it would be possible to replace a four-way stop at Hardie and Ontario Streets with a stop light to address increases in traffic. 

The Greensboro Department of Transportation said an evaluation of the area would be needed first.