One of Bibb County's newest schools is set to open in August of this year. The Academy for Classical Education, A.C.E, is a charter school that co-founders Laura Perkins and Esterine Stokes said focuses on getting back to the basics.
"Studying the great authors, the great historians, the founders of our country. You're learning things in a very routine, organized manner," said Perkins.
The school sits on 39 acres of land that used to be the site of First Data. Perkins said the building itself and construction costs are under $10 million. "They've done most of the demolition and will begin doing the reconstruction within the next two weeks," said Perkins.
Perkins said a group of private investors are paying for it and that after three to five years A.C.E. will buy it from them.
They've already hired a full staff and have students on a waiting list. "We wanted to enroll 760 students. We initially had as of our lottery on February 11,1334 applicants," she said.
Joanna Griffin and her husband Adam are sending their two sons there. Both currently attend Alexander II Elementary School.
"We just really felt like it was an opportunity that we couldn't pass up to embrace something new and exciting, and be a part of it from the ground level" said Griffin.
For the first year the school will serve kindergarten through eighth grade, each year after that they will add a grade until they reach 12th.
Tracey Rivers also has kids who go to Alexander II. She isn't sure about sending her second grader to A.C.E. yet, but her oldest son who will be a sixth grader is going to attend. "They have a different philosophy I think than most of our schools in town. They are teaching more to learn than teaching to test," said Rivers.
Mia Corey, who is on the schools governance board, has a daughter who is also going into the sixth grade and will be an A.C.E. student. She's currently at Skyview Elementary. "Her feelings were kind of mixed. Once she found out that some of her friends were going to A.C.E. and did get in through the lottery, she was a lot more excited," she said.
Perkins and Stokes said the school will open in time for classes to start in August. Students who attend have to take all state and federal mandated tests.