Matthew Kirby, the academy’s board chairman, said the school is excited to have its campus location set. Heiskell, a nondenominational independent Christian school for children in preschool through eighth grade, announced in January it would close in May after 65 years in existence.
“Central to the north Atlanta area, this facility will support our families in pursuit of our school’s mission: to form intelligent, virtuous citizens,” Kirby said of the Northside Drive campus, which it will lease from Heiskell.
The academy originally planned to house its campus at Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Buckhead but could not reach an agreement with the church.
“We had a series of conversations with WRBC leaders, but for reasons related to zoning and operational challenges, we determined it was not a mutually beneficial arrangement, so we ended the negotiation amicably,” Kirby said. “[Pastor] Mark Wilbanks, his staff and the church’s leadership are wonderful people we enjoyed getting to know.”
In March the academy, which will start as a kindergarten through eighth-grade charter school, announced it will open with about 450 students following its enrollment lottery.
At the Feb. 25 public lottery at Peachtree Presbyterian Church in Buckhead, students for those grades were chosen from a pool of 1,341 children representing 802 families. Kirby said it will add about 50 students each year, eventually having about 700 students in grades K-12. The school is in the North Atlanta High cluster.
In other news, Kirby said the academy has hired its principal, Terrence O. Moore, Ph.D., and its assistant principal, Col. Steve Lambert.
“These men are gifted leaders, accomplished intellectuals and committed husbands and fathers,” he said. “They will be outstanding role models for children and families in our community. And they are attracting an extraordinarily gifted group of teachers.
“We will introduce them to the community over the next few months. This is a school created by Atlanta families for Atlanta families, and our board is grateful to the dozens of volunteers who are contributing in ways small and large.”