The future is bright and filled with plans to accommodate growth at Foundation Academy — including the addition of a new Lower School campus.
FA students and staff hosted the school’s annual State of the Academy addressThursday, Jan. 10, at its Tilden Road campus. Hundreds of parents and their children attended and listened as school administrators highlighted the past year’s accomplishments and looked forward to the future at Foundation.
Accompanying the evening’s theme of “The Power of One,” administrators shared statistics and stories of the academy’s successes, student accomplishments and plans to further improve the school’s Christian-education experience. From academics and athletics to faith, family involvement and fine arts, school staff said Foundation is in good shape and poised for growth.
NEW LOWER SCHOOL
Perhaps the biggest announcement of the evening was confirmation of a new Lower School campus. Buckles first announced school staff was looking to open another elementary campus during the 2017 State of the Academy address, and gears are moving quickly to make that dream a reality.
“Due to the continual population growth in our area and our Lower School campus being full on a regular basis, we have begun this work, which eventually will house kindergarten through sixth grade,” Buckles said.
The new campus, to be located on the First Baptist Church of Windermere’s Lakeside campus, will be in addition to the existing Lower School campus in downtown Winter Garden. This additional location will bring FA’s total to three campuses. Pending permitting and working with Orange County, Buckles said the goal is to open the new campus for the 2019-20 school year.
FA already partners with First Baptist Church of Winter Garden to house the existing Lower School campus, and now both entities will work with FBC Windermere to promote Christian education, Buckles said.
“Our hope is that in opening the Lakeside campus, we will see students and families come to know the love of Christ,” Buckles said. “There are some practical obstacles we are actively and faithfully working on. We have some county issues and permitting that must be tended to, (but) with that said our goal is to open this location August of 2019.”
UPPER SCHOOL EXPANSION
Foundation is working on plans to build a new road around the Upper School campus.
“Moving us forward into the future, we are quite literally building a road to that future — a road that will go around our property and will exit out to Mann Road,” Buckles said. “We will add more paved parking. This road is required because of a building addition that we will need to build in the next two years.”
With the population growth in the Winter Garden and Horizon West areas, as well as increasing interest in Foundation Academy, the new buildings coming soon to the Upper School campus will create more space for students to learn and engage.
The main building in the works will have eight classrooms, two science labs and a band and drama room. Additionally, Buckles said, staff has begun the preliminary designs on the fine-arts and cafeteria buildings. This will be completed in two phases. The cafeteria will seat up to 400 students at any given time, and the state-of-the-art fine-arts building will seat 1,500 people.