One of Augusta’s oldest private schools is now designing a 28-acre expansion campus that could have sports facilities and outdoor science classes. Episcopal Day School announced Thursday that it had bought land on Flowing Wells Road.
It is the latest project for a 1-mile stretch of Flowing Wells between Wrightsboro and Belair Frontage roads. The once agricultural and residential road is now home to Automatic Data Processing, an apartment complex, a city fire station and a short commercial strip called Benchmark Drive.
The buildup has been slow over the years. Kuhlke Construction built its new offices in 2004. In 2005, the city finished its $1.6 million fire station on the southern end of the road. ADP finished its $40 million complex in 2009. A year later, Atlanta-based Flournoy began putting up the 300-plus unit apartment community, The Parc at Flowing Wells.
Now a former horse pasture on the western side of the roadway will be home to the expanded campus for the Christian school, an investment that could be $4 million to $5 million.
Ned Murray, the headmaster of the 67-year-old school at 2248 Walton Way since 2003, said the purpose of buying the land is not to relocate the school but to produce a campus expansion.
Murray said the conceptual plans should be ready by the summer. At that time, the school will launch a fundraising campaign.
The land will not go unused until then, Murray said. There’s already been a staff meeting there, and sports teams will practice on it in the spring.
Murray said school officials have spent several years looking for a place to expand.
“Over the years, we have looked at dozens of potential sites before identifying this one,” he said.
Murray said the school bought the property for $1.15 million from Queensborough National Bank & Trust.
“It is in the direction where a lot of the population growth in our area is,” Murray said. “We already have a lot of families from Columbia County. We have a lot of families that are involved in recreational activities.”
Murray said the location is easily accessible from Wheeler and Wrightsboro roads. It is right around the corner from Augusta Arsenal soccer facilities.
“It is reasonably flat already,” he said, also mentioning that it is mostly clear of trees. A house that was on the property had already been razed by the bank.
The school has about 400 students and offers most team sports, such as football, soccer, basketball and baseball. Murray said among the things that could go on the land are an amphitheater to hold theatrical performances and double as an outdoor
chapel, and outdoor science class areas.
“The board of trustees has a broad vision expanding the campus to help us meet the needs of 21st century students,” he said.
Philanthropic giving will fund the projects and repay the loan used to buy the land.