On the cusp of its third year in existence, the York Academy Regional Charter School is already planning to double the size of its York City facility.
Stewards of the school are planning to construct a three-story building next to the 32 W. North St. facility where kindergartners through third-graders currently attend. The academy will add fourth grade in the fall, bringing enrollment to 375 students.
The new building will house a new cafeteria, gym and classrooms for future sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, said Dennis Baughman, president of the academy's board of trustees.
The academy started out as a K-2 school in 2011 with plans to add a grade each year until it reaches K-12. The school draws from York City, Central York and York Suburban school districts. Tuition is paid by the students' home district.
The board of trustees is also considering options for a future high school, Baughman said.
Before construction can begin on the new building, an existing structure will be demolished.
"We looked at keeping the building and remodeling it, but some of the walls are pretty bad," Baughman said.
Timing: The project needs to be complete before the start of the 2014-15 school year, he added. Baughman said he didn't know what the project might cost, as the demolition and construction will be paid for by the building's owner, the Kinsley company.
The academy pays rent to Kinsley and will continue to do so unless a sale of the buildings is negotiated, Baughman said.
The York City Council voted last week to approve the academy's land-development plan on the condition that the school's directors submit a traffic-safety plan that satisfies the city's Traffic Safety Committee.
"We have a plan for parents to pick up and drop off children, but we have parents who don't follow the rules," Baughman said. "When they do something like that, it causes a mess."
For example, he said, some parents park in no-parking areas and walk their children into school. Others refuse to use the crosswalks, he said.
School officials are finalizing a safety plan and will submit it to the city soon.
Baughman said there will be a need to revisit the plan as the academy continues to add grades.
"We're just working it out sort of year by year," he said.
-- Erin James may also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.