Thomasville Times Enterprise

February 21, 2014

Ground broken on new charter school

Staff report

THOMASVILLE —  Officials recently broke ground for the new Bishop Hall Charter School which will be housed on the campus of the Thomas County Board of Education.  The new 22,000 square foot school will serve students from eighth through twelfth grade.

The new facility will feature seven classrooms, a computer lab, a science lab, a media center, kitchen and cafeteria.  The school was designed by a local architectural firm, Jinright, Ryan, and Lynn Architects.  The non-traditional design, which includes unconventional finishes and a clerestory, is tailored to fit the learning atmosphere of the school.

Dr. Terrel Solana, who serves as the board chair for Bishop Hall Charter School, thanked everyone at the groundbreaking for sharing in the exciting new chapter of Bishop Hall history.

“Recently, on a trip to the State Board of Education in Atlanta, one of the board members commented that he knew of the school and its reputation and he wished that every county could have a school like Bishop Hall,” stated Solana.  “This new chapter in Bishop Hall history will feature state-of-the-art facilities and technology.”

Solana added, “The building will continue to feature small classes with individual attention along with many support services and a nurturing environment. This is made possible by a very supportive community and many collaborative partners.  It exemplifies the saying that it takes a village to raise a child.”

The E-SPLOST is funding the $3.1 million project.  The original school, which has been housed on the campus of the Vashti Center, began 15 years ago with the mission of serving students who were not successful in a traditional program.  Since its inception it has graduated nearly 400 students.

Richard Johnson, Bishop Hall Headmaster, said, “All of us at Bishop Hall are excited about this new stage in the evolution of Bishop Hall.  The opportunity to present our students with a new, high-tech facility and a strong partnership with Southwest Georgia Technical College (SWGTC) cements our role in Thomas County as providing non-traditional education options for students whose needs are not necessarily met by the traditional educational approach.”

The students will have the opportunity to earn and receive an associate’s degree, diploma or certificate from SWGTC on the same night they graduate from high school.  The new school is expected to be completed in the middle of November 2014 and ready for students at the beginning of the third nine weeks in January 2015.

"I really want to thank Ralph Comerford, Vashti and the Vashti board of directors for their generous support over the last 15 years,” Johnson added.  “Obviously, without their willingness to host our staff and students at the Bishop Hall facility and annex, there would have been no Bishop Hall."