ELIZABETHTOWN — The “where?” question is no longer up in the air after the Emereau Foundation met Tuesday night to decide the location of Bladen County’s newest charter school — Emereau: Bladen.
“Advantage Capital for Education (the funding organization for the Emereau Foundation) is pursuing 26 acres between Hwy. 87 and Airport Road,” informed Kate Alice Dunaway, consultant to the board. “The property adjoins both the highway and Airport Road, and the main entry for the first phase will be on Airport Road.”
In making the site decision, the board considered features like proximity to water and sewer, zoning requirements, and whether the land was already cleared.
Tuesday night, the board approved a letter of intent to purchase the property and hopes to have everything ready for permits in November. Dunaway said the board does have a contingency plan but does not see any reason the purchase would not move forward.
Concerning a tight deadline given that the purchase will involve new construction, Dunaway said at last month’s meeting that it was not uncommon for charter schools to begin construction in March and open in August.
“Once we get started, things move relatively quickly,” she said. “We’re not sure yet if it will involve some type of pre-fabricated building, but it will definitely be new construction,” said Dunaway.
The board plans to announce hiring for the new school the last week in October on teachers-teachers.com/ and to begin in November accepting student applications on a school web site currently under construction.
The next meeting for the Emereau Foundation will be Tuesday, Nov. 29, at the Elizabethtown Airport conference room at 6:30 p.m.
About charter schools
One of the key differences between charter schools and other public schools is the freedom from staffing, curriculum, and budget mandates imposed on traditional public schools.
In exchange for this freedom, charter schools are bound to the promises made in their charters, which, in North Carolina, are under review by the N.C. Department of Education and may be revoked if goals are not met.
The Emereau Foundation is responsible for making sure the charter is implemented at Emereau: Bladen.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.