SALISBURY — Faith Academy is seeking to raise $2 million to help pay off its current debt and is considering a $23 million school project as it expands its grade levels.
The campaign, in a bid to “continue the Faith Foundation”, details the expenses the school had to incur to begin its first year of classes, including the purchase of the former Faith Elementary school, furnishing the building , the purchase of land to build a new facility. on, bringing in modular replacements, redeveloping the library, and buying devices for students.
The school project is not only a question of expenses. Principal Sarah Hensley told the Post that the school received 10,000 book donations to equip the library. Academy Board Secretary and Campaign Chair Tim Williams thanked the legion of volunteers who came to the school last summer to help paint and prepare the school for the year.
Williams said at that time the school needed supplies and labor, but this year they need the money and giving is a way for people who haven’t been able to. participate last summer. Gift levels range from $100 all the way up to $200,000.
Donation levels are divided into “teams”. Williams noted that the School House team is looking for 300 donors at $1,000 each, which would cover the full cost of purchasing the current Rowan-Salisbury Schools facility.
“We want to reduce our current debt and increase our ability to borrow money,” Williams said.
The school sent out an email about the campaign on Tuesday, and Williams said her phone hasn’t stopped ringing since. The school has quietly raised about $50,000 for the campaign over the past two months.
This summer, the school plans to break ground on the first phase of the new facility that will eventually become its K-8 building. The first phase of the project, mainly classrooms, should be ready for the 2023-2024 school year. In total, the school plans to build a facility with a ground floor of 51,125 square feet and an upper level of 33,227 square feet that will include a gymnasium/auditorium, additional classrooms, and music space.
The timing is deliberate. This coming year, the school will serve students from kindergarten to grade 8, and in 2023-2024 it will add grade nine. The school will add a grade each year until it can serve K-12 students.
Wilhelm said when conversations about starting the school began more than two years ago, the intent was to serve only elementary, like Faith Elementary, but what would become the board decided to sue K-12 so that students who came to school would not be moved.
The mix of students at the school is unique. Rather than all students from a geographic district, the charter is able to attract students from across the county and beyond. Wilhelm said the concern at the time was that when students graduated from elementary school, they would be dispersed to public schools throughout the county and lose touch with their classmates.
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“We want our kids to have the same kind of curriculum and the same kind of learning that started in elementary school and continues through middle school and high school,” Wilhelm said.
Williams said the school is an important part of maintaining Faith’s viability and that the school population will eventually exceed that of the city. This coming school year, the school will have approximately 600 students.