January 19, 2018
 
Atlantis Charter School Kicks Off $2.5M Capital Campaign

Plan for new Atlantis Charter School on South Watuppa Pond
December 9, 2017 — The Atlantis Charter School, a nonprofit in Fall River, one of the first charter schools in Massachusetts, founded in 1995, this week announced the launch of a $2.5 million capital campaign to help fund construction of a new, $35 million, state-of-the-art campus.

The announcement was made in connection with a $100,000 donation from BankFive that kicked off the campaign.

Robert Beatty, executive director at Atlantis Charter School, said, “At Atlantis, we are committed to providing students with an education second to none. BankFive’s generous donation will help fund our new home for inspired learning: a place where all students have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in our fast-changing, global economy."

William R. Eccles, Jr., president and CEO at BankFive, said, " With this gift, Atlantis can advance a new and exciting model of education designed to bridge the skills gap and prepare students for successful careers."

Atlantis paid $10 million upfront toward the cost of construction. The remaining $25 million is being financed; MassDevelopment issued $24.5 million in tax-exempt bonds.

Atlantis’ 98,000-square-foot, waterfront facility, located on a 43-acre site on South Watuppa Pond in Fall River, due to be completed next spring, will serve 1400 students in kindergarten through grade 12. It will feature two wings of classrooms equipped with modern technology, a new gymnasium, an outdoor athletic complex, and open space.

The school currently leases three buildings, located three miles from the new site; the K-4 and 5-8 buildings are old school buildings, and a building for students in grades nine through 12 is a converted office. The buildings do not have a gymnasium or athletic field, and most of the classrooms, some in basements with no natural sunlight, are significantly smaller than traditional standards.

Atlantis said the new facility will feature an open office concept that will be filled with natural sunlight and surrounded by green landscapes, trees, and water "to optimize every student’s potential and allow their minds to thrive.”

The new complex will also house Atlantis’ career academies, which were launched in 2016 in collaboration with strategic industry and higher education partners to help students learn how to think creatively, solve real-world business challenges, and gain hands-on experience necessary for future career success. The academies include business and entrepreneurship STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), arts, culture, and design, teacher development, and health, medical technology, and sports medicine.

Since its founding, Atlantis leased older, energy inefficient buildings that, it said, do not provide needed resources and amenities for students, such as a gymnasium or athletic field. It currently employs 220 people, and does not plan to expand staff in connection with the new facility.

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