Charter school ready to build

Jan. 01, 2014 @ 08:38 PM

As Vance County’s newest charter school continues to grow, the school leaders are moving ahead with plans for a permanent facility.

The school’s co-founder Eric Sanchez said the bidding and hiring process for a contractor should take place over the next few months.

Henderson Collegiatel, which opened in 2010, uses modular units on county property. The Henderson Zoning Board of Adjustment unanimously approved its proposal for a two-story, 45,000-square foot building off Old Epsom Road last March.

Sanchez said Five Star Properties and Rentals donated 30.9 acres to the school in 2012.

“The only conditional part of agreement was that we would use it for school purposes within five years,” he said.

Sanchez said the permanent middle school building will contain four to eight classrooms, a large portion of administrative offices, a kitchen and part of the cafeteria.

He said they are working within budget constraints to provide a green space for the school’s athletic programs, including volleyball, soccer and baseball, with plans to add track and cross country in the coming years.

Cliff Rogers and his wife Stephanie, a member of the board of directors, helped the school find land in Henderson for the permanent location.

“We looked around town and choices to actually build a school on a clear tract of land are very, very limited,” Cliff Rogers said. “We identified this site and approached the owners and they were very kind to donate it to the school.”

Sanchez said assistance from the board and benefactors was critical.

“They have been instrumental in getting us to a place now where we are ready to use this land and build a facility,” Sanchez said. “We are hoping this new facility is something that the neighborhood around us will take pride in. Even if they don’t have children who attend this school, we hope they will continue to support this mission that all our children can have access to a great education.”

The school offers grades 4-7, with about 100 students in each grade, and will contain a complete middle school by the 2014-2015 school year. The school is adding a grade each year, and will be grades 4-12 when complete.

When the school opened, about 95 percent of students were black or Hispanic and 86 percent qualified for free or reduced lunch. This school year, the student body is 96 percent black or Hispanic and those who qualify for free or reduced lunch remains 86 percent.

 

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.