School For Students With Learning Differences Gets Dream Campus On Noah Reid Road

  • Tuesday, February 7, 2023
New campus for Skyuka Hall
New campus for Skyuka Hall

A school for children with learning differences was recently able to acquire its dream campus in East Brainerd.

When Skyuka Hall was formed from the remnants of Scenic Land School, it was a total building process from the beginning. With just a handful of students, almost no budget, and a bold plan to provide a home for students with learning differences to learn in their own unique ways, Skyuka launched in 2014.

Few would have dreamed that less than nine years later, the school would be able to move into an eight-bedroom, 7.5-bath home with 11,769 square feet on over 16 acres.

Skyuka Hall recently completed the purchase of the optimum site at 7468 Noah Reid Road. It was acquired from Benjamin Timothy and Stephanie Elizabeth Blackiston for $4,750,000.

The first campus in Red Bank was a commercial office park. A water main break filled the school with water like a giant aquarium. The school lost everything and had to find a new campus ready to start school within three weeks. A suitable space was found in Eastgate Town Center and that has been the group's home since 2018.

“We never gave up finding that perfect place that would combine safety, comfort, flexibility and room for growth,” said Dr. Josh Yother, head of school.

Skyuka’s Board Chair Tom Jones said the new campus is centrally located and already well-appointed, “So much of what we need is already there including 12,000 square feet under roof, large rooms, more than 16 acres of land … even a field house and football field.”

Architects have been commissioned to turn bedrooms and other areas into classrooms, but not your typical classrooms. “Your standard classroom with wooden desks and bright lights don’t necessarily work well for every student,” said Dr. Yother. “Our classrooms will continue to have plush, comfortable furnishings, softer lighting … generally a homey feel that enhances the students’ comfort level and increases their ability to concentrate on learning.”

Building on a concept currently in use, classrooms at the new campus will look more like living rooms than science labs. And the general experience will be much improved once students leave the walls of the schoolhouse. Currently, Skyuka Hall is surrounded by a mall parking lot. On the new campus, students will be able to walk gently rolling hills, safe from traffic. Classes can even be held “on the grounds” weather permitting, allowing students to enjoy the most natural setting imaginable, officials said.

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