The Transylvania Times -

By Derek McKissock
News Editor 

Brevard Academy May Move To The Rosman Highway - Brevard NC

 

Last updated 11/13/2013 at 1:35pm



A new location for Brevard Academy: A Challenge Foundation Academy is being considered off the Rosman Highway.

The 10.8-acre site is at 16 Hunnicutt Lane, near Nicholson Creek Road, and is located within the city's extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ).

Academy Director Tony Helton cautioned the site is merely being looked at and that Challenge Foundation Properties (CFP) only has an option to buy the property and is currently doing its "due diligence."

CFP is part of the Challenge Foundation, a nonprofit that supports school choice and the charter school movement. Brevard Academy became a Challenge Foundation school in 2010, receiving $300,000 over the next three years in grants.

CFP essentially helps Challenge Foundation academies build schools. Helton said it's a "high priority" for CFP to help Brevard Academy find a permanent home.

Brevard Academy has operated as a charter school based at Brevard Music Center (BMC) since the school opened in 1998. The school's current lease with BMC extends through the next two years.

In May, the academy's Board of Directors agreed to spend up to $4.5 million on a new K-8 grade building. Brevard Academy has about $600,000 in savings.

CFP would buy the property and build the new school, and Brevard Academy would either lease the building or seek a loan or bond to buy it from CFP, Helton said.

CFP doesn't want to be a "landlord," Helton said.

The Hunnicutt Lane site is zoned General Residential-4 (GR-4) and requires a special-use permit to operate a school on the property.

Helton, who is acting as an agent for CFP, was scheduled to appear before the city's Board of Adjustment Tuesday night to ask for a permit but has received a continuance until the board's Dec. 10 meeting.

At that meeting, Helton said they would submit greater details about the proposed new building, including plans for landscaping, stormwater management and lighting. City officials have also indicated a traffic impact analysis would need to be done for that location.

Brevard Academy is one of about 15 charter schools nationwide that are part of the Challenge Foundation.

The possible site for a new building to house Brevard Academy is not far from Nicholson Creek Road. (Times photo by Derek McKissock)

Helton said the organization wants to grow to a group of about 50 schools in the next four to six years.

Brevard Academy's goal, Helton said, had been to be in its new location by next August. They are not willing to give up on that goal until it becomes unrealistic, he said.

Helton said the school is "excited" about the future but noted they have "loved and continue to love being at BMC."

"We've simply outgrown the facility," he said.

The school's current enrollment is 231, which Helton believes is the highest it's been. Brevard Academy wants to be a K-8 school with 350 students, and Helton believes that's possible at a new location, whether on the Rosman Highway or somewhere else.

 
 

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