Chester Charter School for the Arts (CCSA) is coming home to Chester, thanks to an agreement to purchase an 11-acre site from the Chester Housing Authority (CHA).
The site is located on Highland Ave. from just above 12th Street to Township Line Rd. CHA, which manages about 20% of the city's rental properties, had considered selling the land to other buyers, but ultimately decided that having a high quality school in the community represented the best opportunity to support the city's ongoing recovery.
"Our mission is to provide well managed and maintained properties for upward moving Chester families. This means concerning ourselves with more than just housing, including improving local education," said CHA Executive Director Steven A. Fischer. "When we entered into discussions about CCSA acquiring this land and building a new school there, we felt what a meaningful addition it would be to the community. We are gratified to be able to play a role in this move and engage in this partnership."CCSA, currently located at 200 Commerce Drive in Aston, PA, opened in September 2012 with 325 students.
The school will have 575 students in grades K-11 when it moves to the new facility, and will serve at least 625 students in grades K-12 thereafter.Donald Delson, president of the CCSA Board of Trustees, says he and his team had been looking for an ideal location to build a state of the art facility inside the Chester city limits."Our school offers children in Chester a challenging and innovative educational program that allows them to discover the best in themselves," Delson said.
"As we continue to grow and serve more Chester families, we believe this location in the heart of the community will give more students access to that opportunity."Ms. Akosua Watts, CCSA Head of School, said "Our scholars are exceptional, and we are thrilled about the chance to design a new CCSA campus that conveys the high regard we have for each of them."Public housing, demolished more than 10 years ago, once occupied the site.
CHA built the housing development across the street with the idea that this parcel would serve a complementary purpose."It has been a long time in coming, but we think the wait was worth it. From the CHA perspective, we could not think of a more appropriate and positive addition to the neighborhood," Fischer said.According to Delson, the property will be developed by The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, and leased to CCSA. The building will be ready in fall 2017.The sale price is $2.3 million.