First Presbyterian Christian Academy officials want to put to rest rumors that the private school is closing.
FPCA will start the 2013-14 school year for every grade, Pre-K through 12th, on Aug. 6 as scheduled, FPCA Principal Shannon Hickey said.
“The school is open and is operating as normal as it has been,” Hickey said. “There are a lot of rumors flying around that the school is closing. We are not, we are here, we are staying and we will be offering the same classes, honor classes and the same sports that we have offered in the past … it’s business as usual progressing forward, offering dynamite education for our students.”
The FPCA Board of Directors recently renegotiated the bank loan on the private school’s building with The Heritage Bank, extending the loan from one year to three years. The Heritage Bank Chief Credit Officer Stephen Parker said he would not comment on the loan due to privacy issues.
FPCA School Board Chairman Jerry Kicklighter said that in previous years the bank renewed the school’s loan one year at a time.
“That always leaves the speculation that the school is not going to make it,” Kicklighter said. “Every year, we go through that. This year, when we negotiated the loan with the bank, we asked for a three-year deal, which they agreed to.”
The school board chairman said FPCA has always, “done everything the bank has asked us to do. We’ve made every payment on time.”
Kicklighter said the school even raised $100,000 in three weeks one year to help make the loan payment.
FPCA serves more than 300 students, according to Hickey. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Hickey estimated FPCA’s building to be about seven years old. The school has 22 classrooms, she said.
The FPCA website states the “$5.3 million, state-of-the-art main building houses classes for first through 12th grades” and “students in Pre-K and Kindergarten remain on newly renovated wings.”
“The next phase of our building plan includes a gymnasium and lower school facility,” fpcahinesville.org reads.
The school touted its academic and athletic accomplishments in a July 8 newsletter sent to parents, asking for their continued support.
“We graduated our fifth senior class with 27 students and a 100-percent college acceptance rate,” the newsletter read. “Our graduates win a variety of scholarships, both academic and athletic.”
The newsletter also named the colleges FPCA graduates have attended, including the Air Force Academy, Georgia Tech, The Citadel, Emory, Mercer, Savannah College of Art and Design, the University of Georgia and the University of Kentucky.
In addition, the school won the national 2013 Under Armor Finding Undeniable Competition and received $140,000 in uniforms and equipment for its athletic teams, according to the newsletter.
FPCA’s athletic teams placed well in state competitions, the memo read, with the girls’ soccer team placing first in state this past school year, and boys’ soccer and basketball teams placing second in state in 2013.
The private Christian school is at 308 East Court St. in Hinesville. For more information about FPCA, call 912-876-0441 or go to fpcahinesville.org.
Patty Leon contributed to this story.