After only two years in operation, a local charter school last month bought the building it once rented to educate its students.

New Summit Charter Academy, a K-8 charter school in Academy School District 20, completed a tax-exempt bond transaction with assets investor Tortoise to purchase and own their building at 7899 Lexington Drive. The transaction took about six months and was closed on Aug. 27.

NSCA is a nonprofit, tuition-free public charter school serving families with children ages 4 and up who reside in and around school districts 11, 20, 49 and the Briargate area. NSCA opened its first year as a K-6 elementary school in 2018, added grade 7 this year and will add grade 8 in 2020.

NSCA believes in teaching children a love of learning and inspiring them to reach new summits, which explains the school’s name. NSCA also offers preschool through Diakonia Preschools for children ages 3-5 to help with kindergarten readiness. Both full- and half-day kindergarten are offered.

The school plans to apply to open a high school.

The closing of the project allows NSCA to finish phase two construction of its building, expected in early November, and to save money on the building’s rent. The investment also allows the school to allocate more money to its general fund. Continued student growth and cost-saving measures figured in the property purchase, NSCA Communications Coordinator Kathryn Sneed said.

“We did not encounter any obstacles, it was a very smooth process,” she said of the purchase.

“As a newer charter school, we know that we will be growing and adding grades in the future and in need of additional funding. Buildings are a major expense, so we looked for ways to save money on our building.

Many changes have already been made to the school, such as new carpeting, fresh paint on the walls and window tinting to keep the classrooms cooler, she said.

NSCA Principal Kim McClelland said she is thrilled about the purchase.

“We have been successful with our growth and accommodating the needs of the community, having opened in 2018 with 444 students, started the 2019 school year with over 550 students, still able to enroll currently and are projected to be at 1,000 students at full capacity with grades Pre-K — 8 within several years,” McClelland said.

The school’s Accountability Committee and public board meetings kept parents apprised of all plans, Sneed said.

She added, “This (transaction) gives families another positive education choice, along with having space for community use once phase two of our construction is finished.”

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