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Jacksonville Lighthouse School building new $8.7 million facility

Nabholz Construction, Inc. of Little Rock, the contractor and partner responsible for construction of the new facility underway that will house the Jacksonville Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy (CPA), grades 9-12, has been giving tours and presentations to scholars in grades eight and nine recently.

The tours include not only the new facility and seeing the work that has been done to date, but also understanding the different jobs of the Nabholz personnel and the skills needed to do them.

The new facility will be a two-story 40,000 square foot stand alone building adjacent to the current 28,000 square foot facility located at 251 North First St. in Jacksonville. The new facility is designed by Wittenberg, Delony & Davidson, Inc. Architects of Little Rock and construction is contracted to Nabholz Construction, Inc. The project is primarily financed through $8.7 million of tax-exempt bonds issued by the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA), $4.5 million of which are guaranteed by ADFA. The bonds are underwritten and marketed by Crews and Associates of Little Rock.

In addition, Walton Family Foundation is providing $925,000 in zero interest subordinate debt and the Charter School Financing Program a non-profit entity is providing a $625,000 grant funded through a program of U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Phillis Nichols-Anderson, Vice President for the Southern Region at Lighthouse Academies, Inc. said there is a purpose for the tours.

“For example, they will learn about the communication and organizational skills needed by the Project Manager, the math skills needed to figure out how much drywall and brick is needed, the physics background needed to plan for the electricity, duct air flow and water flow,” said Anderson. “They will also learn the education requirement for these positions.”

JLCS opened in August 2009 for Kindergarten through sixth grade. Per the Lighthouse model, the school has added one grade each year and will continue to do so until the school includes K-12. This year marks the opening of the College Prep Academy (CPA) starting with the ninth grade.

“All scholars at all levels are focused on not just getting accepted to college but succeeding in college and in life,” said Anderson. “The program includes rigorous academics, strong social development and arts infusion.”

The CPA features the development of core competencies through the ACES program — Active Community Membership, Critical Thinking, Effective Communication, and Self-direction and Self-management.

“There is an advisory program which keeps students with the same adviser for four years meeting weekly and focusing on college readiness skills,” said Anderson. “Technology is integrated into everyday learning with the use of iPads for all CPA scholars. The CPA also features a pathway to rigorous Advanced Placement courses as a key component of its College Readiness Focus.”

JLCS is part of the Lighthouse Academies nonprofit network of charter schools. Lighthouse Academies schools provide opportunities for children to discover, achieve, and prepare for success in college, incorporating an arts-infused philosophy. Lighthouse Academies develops children’s critical decision-making skills to prepare them for success in life. Lighthouse Academies works relentlessly to achieve these outcomes through a self-sustaining financial model to transform children’s futures. For more information, please visit the website at www.lighthouse-academies.org or call 800.901.6943.

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