Wilmington’s all-girl charter school has a permanent address in sight now that some members of the Cameron family have decided to donate 28 acres of land to develop a campus.
The Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington, which opened in August as the state’s first single-gender charter school, plans to build a middle and high school at the site, officials announced Tuesday.
The property, which is now undeveloped land, is next to Maides Park near Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and North Kerr Avenue. The Cameron family members made the gift through a holding entity called Dry Pond Partners.
Along with the school facility, there also is room for ball fields, drop-off and pick-up traffic and outdoor learning centers, a news release stated.
Appraisals are being done on the property to determine its value but have not been finished yet, said school board member Margee Herring.
In additional to the land gift, the Bruce Barclay Cameron Foundation is also contributing $50,000 a year over five years for a total of $250,000 to support operating expenses at the school, the release stated.
After a change in state law that allowed for single-gender public charter schools, GLOW Academy opened in August with its first class of 100 sixth-grade girls. The plan is to add a grade each year until operating as a sixth- through 12th-grade school.
The school is part of the Young Women’s Leadership Network, a group of 18 schools across six states. It focuses on a student population mostly made up girls from disadvantaged backgrounds who would be the first in their families to go to college.
“Education is the greatest equalizer,” Scott Sullivan, co-founder of Cameron Management who manages the investments of the Cameron family businesses, said in the release. “We are very impressed with GLOW and its early progress in providing girls, who might otherwise not have the option, the opportunity to benefit from a rigorous and college preparatory education.”
GLOW is now located at 606 S. College Road, where officials initially said they expected to stay for four years. But with an early 2018 groundbreaking in mind for the new site, they now have to figure out what they want the permanent facility to look like.
“GLOW administrators are working to develop an RFP to hire an architect who will help conceptualize the campus site plan, shepherd the project through city planning reviews, design the school building and oversee the project from concept through construction,” the release stated.
“This gift is more than just land and money,” said Todd Godbey, president of GLOW NC, the nonprofit foundation arm that supports the school. “It’s no less than enabling the future for girls in our community who attend GLOW with the confidence that they will graduate, go to college and succeed in life.”