Sussex County, Delaware’s only charter school, the former Sussex Academy of Arts & Sciences middle school, is being re-named “Sussex Academy” as it expands to include a high school. But unlike most expansion projects, the academy is swapping its old building for an existing building that meets its needs, and it is doing it with help from USDA.
The expansion of Sussex Academy was accelerated last fall when board members of Delmarva Christian High School (DCHS) approached the charter middle school with a novel idea – to exchange buildings. The two schools are located in Georgetown, Del., just a few miles apart. DCHS found its facility to be larger than currently needed. The building swap will allow Sussex Academy room, over time, to serve 780 students.
Financing for the project was made possible by USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program, which provides both guaranteed and direct loans to public bodies and non-profit corporations for essential community facilities in rural areas of the country. Sussex Preparatory Academy Foundation, Inc. (SPAF) is a non-profit organization that supports the charter school. Located five miles apart, the 122,000-square-foot DCHS facility will be home to Sussex Academy while the Academy’s 38,000 square-foot building will be the new home for Delmarva Christian.
The moving transition is scheduled to be finalized this summer in time for the start of the 2013-14 year.
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