Ivy Classical Academy coming to Elmore County

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 7:42 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2022 at 10:17 PM CST
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PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Vacant space at the High Point Town Center is one step closer to becoming Prattville’s newest school.

A resolution for Ivy Classical Academy has been approved by the Elmore County school board.

“Charter schools are popping up everywhere, and so we just felt here in Elmore County, if there was going to be a charter school somewhere here in Elmore County, we wanted to be a part of the process,” said Shay Jackson, the senior coordinator for Elmore County Public Schools.

Ivy Classical Academy was previously in the process of coming to Autauga County but has since shifted to Elmore County so the school could be placed in High Point.

“The reality is High Point is located in Elmore County, and High Point is a shopping center that has remained vacant, largely vacant, since it was built,” Ivy Classical Academy Chairman Bradley Neave told WSFA 12 News.

The location is not official just yet, but the chairman adds converting the facility into a charter school is simply more affordable than starting from the ground up.

“There’s studies done on a yearly basis, and prior to this timber price explosion, it was $340 a square foot was the average school construction cost across the nation,” Neave said. “We can acquire and redevelop High Point for around $100 a square foot. It’s an absolute home run.”

The academy already has 900 students pre-enrolled, and stresses it is a public school that accepts students on a lottery basis. It will not charge tuition.

The school would also create more educational opportunities for families.

“We’re not against parent choice, and if there’s something or some type of program or curriculum that’s not working for a particular student or child, and there’s another place where it’s working for, we’re all for that,” Jackson said.

In terms of next steps, a contract needs to be created and signed between Elmore County and Ivy Classical Academy within 60 days. Additionally, the charter school will have to get purchase and sale agreements with High Point, state approval and more.

The charter school is expected to open in 2023.

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