Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy Buying Tennessee Temple Building; Sets Remodeling Project For Expansion

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy is buying a former academic building used by Tennessee Temple Academy and making plans to expand in the facility.

Elaine Swafford, director, said the $800,000 purchase on Bailey Avenue in Highland Park was funded through the charter school's private foundation.

The same group is in a campaign to raise $1.7 million to renovate an older portion of the building that is not currently in use, she said.

Ms. Swafford said CGLA has plans to grow to between 265 and 285 students for the next school year from the current 199.

It ultimately will have 350 students on its new campus. The school was on the Westside before leasing space at the former Temple building this school year.

The school director said, "We're growing. We kind of put our toes in the water here and found it was a good place for us to set roots and expand."

Ms. Swafford said the school is currently in the new portion of the Weigel Building and work is set to start soon on renovating the three floors of the old Weigel.

There will be 16 new classrooms to go with the current 16.

Verina Baxter, who heads the foundation, said several walls will be knocked out to create larger classrooms in the older portion.

She said plans call for a health and wellness center and a media and library area with an array of computers.

Ms. Baxter said, "We're delighted to be a part of the Highland Park community that is becoming a wonderful place to live. We just want to be part of that."

She said the former Temple building "is a fantastic and much-needed facility" for the school to stretch to its 350-student goal.  

As a part of the deal, WDYN Radio will be moving out of its longtime space in the Weigel Building.  




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