A brand new gymnasium, 24,000 square feet of classroom and library space and administrative offices were revealed during a ribbon cutting held by the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce at the Covington Peachtree Academy school campus on Tuesday. The classroom space will be for the school’s high school students.
The new high school building also includes labs for science and technology, a second computer lab, a stage, a band room and a fully-functional cafeteria. Work on the athletic field will be completed this spring for use in the fall.
JaNice Van Ness, Peachtree Academy chief executive officer, said the new space was added to accommodate the student growth at the school. The cost of the expansion was approximately $1.5 million.
“We’re really excited because we did not have any more space. We were popping at the seams. So, it’s been a great thing,” Van Ness said.
Peachtree Academy, which also has a campus in Rockdale County, opened its Covington campus in August 2010. During its first year, the school served 57 students and has grown to nearly 250-plus students during the 2012-2013 school year. With a reenrollment rate of nearly 98 percent, admission officers anticipate a student body of nearly 300 for the 2013-2014 school year.
“We’re looking at expanding the high school, a second story for the high school, next year. It would probably take about eight to 10 weeks to complete because we would build out an area,” Van Ness said.
The Covington campus originally was for sixth through ninth grade students when the school opened.
However, public demand lead to the addition of pre-kindergarten and elementary classes, according to Van Ness.
Peachtree Academy high school students participate in a rigorous college preparatory program that includes dual-enrollment at Georgia Perimeter, Advanced Placement courses and the opportunity to graduate from high school having earned multiple college course credits. The first graduating class from the academy will be awarded diplomas this May.
Additional class sections for middle school students and extra-curricular offerings include competitive athletic teams for cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, cheer, golf, tennis, baseball and equestrian.
The National Junior Honor Society, band, drama, violin, guitar, voice, piano, and Spanish and American sign language are also offered to students of all ages at the academy.
Beginning in August, a new collaborative program will offer courses and extra-curricular opportunities for home-school families in the east metro area.
The academy has a faculty and staff of more than 30 professionals, who have degrees and are state-certified, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools through AdvancEd.
Van Ness explained why the academy was vital to the growing Covington area.
“A lot of the people who are moving in with the corporate relocations are looking for opportunities that may offer a variety of things in education like smaller classes, more intensive academics, and additional technology in the classroom.”
The community is invited to attend a gala to celebrate Peachtree Academy’s growth across its three campuses. It will be held at the high school on Saturday, April 20.