July 31, 2014

Community Portrait

Gainesville

| 2/1/2011

Quality of Life

Eastside High School- Institute of Culinary Arts and Entrepreneurship Magnet program
Eastside High School is home to the Institute of Culinary Arts and Entrepreneurship Magnet program. [Photo: Gene Bednarek]

Schools

Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

The reputation is strong for elementary, middle and high schools alike. Generous voters help. They passed an extra-mil property tax in 2008 to fund arts programming in the schools and offset state budget cuts. In addition to posting the highest SAT scores in the state, the district has the highest rate of passed Advanced Placement tests in Florida. Four of the county's high schools are included in Newsweek's 2010 list of "America's Best High Schools," with Eastside, known for its IB program, Institute of Culinary Arts and Entrepreneurship Magnet, in the top 20. But while the district earned an overall "A" on Florida's statewide grading system last year, it hasn't been able to turn around several east side schools; nearly a quarter of students don't graduate; and 55% of 10th-graders did not pass the reading portion of the 2010 FCAT.

Crime

» In 2009, Alachua County ranked 7th among Florida's 67 counties in crime, with 5,004 crimes per 100,000 residents.

Taxes

» In 2008, Alachua County ranked 35th in the state in total per capita taxes levied.


Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art [Photo: Gainesville/Alachua County VCB]

Arts & Culture

» Gainesville enjoys the art, music, theatrical, dance and literary offerings of a much larger city, from the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra to the Hippodrome State Theatre downtown to the Dance Alive National Ballet. The UF Cultural Plaza is home to the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, the Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Florida Museum of Natural History with its permanent Butterfly Rainforest exhibit — an enormous, screened vivarium with 60 to 80 species at any given time and hundreds of free-flying butterflies. Santa Fe College ads to the mix a 10-acre teaching zoo, training ground for the college's zookeeper students and also open to the public, as well as the Kika Silva Pla Planetarium, with digital sky projectors.

Tags: Northeast

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Major archaeological discovery unveiled
Major archaeological discovery unveiled

In roughly 15 feet of water about 1,000 feet offshore from Fort Pierce, shipwreck salvager Eric Schmitt made a major archaeological discovery.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Your thoughts about fast-food workers joining unions:

  • Good idea - they need more bargaining power (and possibly higher wages)
  • Not in favor - bad for business and the price of burgers

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe