Dougherty County Commission approves sale of land for new charter school

Dougherty County Attorney Spencer Lee and Dougherty County Commissioner Russell Gray talk before a special called meeting at which the board approved sale of land for a charter school.

ALBANY – A charter school scheduled to open next year in Albany will be built on an 18-acre site, part of which includes the old National Guard armory on North Monroe Street.

The Dougherty County Commission unanimously voted this week to sell the property, via an intergovernmental transfer, for $300,000. Part of the property at one time was scheduled to become the site of a tennis center.

“A stipulation was (that) part of the property had to be used for a public purpose,” County Administrator Michael McCoy said of the armory. “We have decided the tennis center will be developed somewhere else, so the property is available.”

The $300,000 will recoup all of the money the county has invested in the property, County Attorney Spencer Lee told commissioners.

The Collegiate Academy of Albany has announced plans to open its new campus in the city in August 2020. It will be a development of New Schools Georgia Inc., a charter school group formed by Glenn Delk, an Atlanta-area attorney, and former Albany resident Allen Hughes.

New Schools Georgia plans to renovate some of the existing buildings, build new classrooms and develop a playground for children, as well as athletic fields for soccer, baseball and softball over the course of eight years.

School officials have said the tuition-free school will accept students on a first-come, first-served basis, with selection coming through a lottery.

New Schools Georgia has been authorized to use state funding to open and operate the school. It plans to begin the Albany school with 376 students in grades K-3.

Plans are to grow the Collegiate Academy of Albany by one grade a year until the school reaches a capacity of 1,450 students in grades K-12.

When the school opens, it will become part of SABIS, a global network of schools with a 134-year academic history. SABIS schools have a comprehensive international curriculum, a book series with more than 2,500 digital and traditional titles developed and produced in-house, and tracking of student performance through regular assessment.

Hughes said the same expectations and technology used throughout the network will be implemented in Albany. Over the coming months, admissions and recruitment of faculty and staff will take place.

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