DELCO, NC (WECT) – SEGS Academy, a new charter school set to open next week in Columbus County, does not have the certificate of occupancy required to hold classes.
The school, chartered for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, was originally set to open Aug. 19. Administrators wrote a letter to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in June asking for a two-week delay.
The school is set to open Sept. 3 pending a certificate of occupancy for educational use. The final inspection of the facility is scheduled for Tuesday, according to Waties Greene of the Columbus County's building inspections office.
Renee Miles, principal of SEGS Academy, said Monday that she is confident the school will pass its inspection and open as scheduled.
Miles said the delays were beyond the school's control. Community Support Agency (CSA), a local behavioral health company was set to construct a building and lease it to SEGS Academy, but a lack of adequate water and sewer in the area derailed the plan.
Devoria Berry, CEO of CSA, confirmed that she has provided start-up funding for the school, although she would not deluge the amount. The school cannot receive state funds until it is awarded a certificate of occupancy.
Not only has SEGS Academy's facility plans changed, but also its enrollment figures. In its charter application, the school expected 300 students this year. Just over 100 students have enrolled, Miles said.
"It's just a new charter school and sometimes charter schools get a bad rap because people think they are coming in to take monies away from the regular schools," Miles said. "Sometimes people just think that it may not be as good as the school where their child is currently enrolled."
Despite the early setbacks, SEGS Academy is ambitious. The school plans to add one grade level each year, teaching 1,000 students in its seventh year of operation.
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