The Academy for Classical Education (ACE) in Macon got approved for a $35 million bond last week to finish its complex. Construction crews are already on site working to finish the rest of the building.
“You see all of these other schools, and you see all of the things they get to do, and kids here we feel left out because we don’t have the same stuff,” ACE 9th grader Hannah Cooper said.
That could change with the help of that $35 million bond.
Witt Gaither is the schools governing board chair.
“It completely builds the facility out, and what that allows that to do is have one debt note for everything all under one roof, and completely paid for,” Gaither said.
Construction is already underway for 23 new academic classrooms, a new fine arts suite for band and chorus, along with a brand new gym.
“The gym is very rudimentary right now,” Principal Laura Perkins said. “This going to allow us to have a gym with wooden floors, bleachers and basketball goals. That’s going to be exciting. We can begin having basketball games.”
She says Since they'll own the building now that will save them $200,000 in property tax money. They currently have to pay taxes since they lease the space. Once they own the building, since it’s a public school it won’t be taxed. She says they can use the money they save and give it to the teachers. Teachers at ACE make less than their counterparts in Bibb County schools.
“Our goal is to get certainly up to the state average and continue to try and build on that,” Perkins said.
Gaither says this final phase of construction shows a commitment to the students, parents, and the community.
“It cements us, and it puts us in a position where were prepared for the long-term viability of the school and that was the overall objective,” Gaither said.
As for Cooper she’s excited for the opportunities that lie ahead, especially for the chance to play her trumpet at a pep rally in the new gym.
“It’s going to be really cool like a real high school experience,” Cooper said.
The new classrooms are expected to be ready for the first day of school in August, and the gym in October. The bond was issued by the Urban Development Authority, and backed by BB&T.