THE PAST, PRESENT, AND PROMISING FUTURE
OUR EARLY HISTORY
Mount Airy families, wanting a superior quality education for area children, founded Millennium Charter Academy in the year 2000. They earnestly desired that the school serve this region as an academic institution focusing on robust academics and moral character development. The founders, furthermore, specifically addressed critical thinking skills, attention to individual students, community involvement, and the development of student leadership.
In October 1998, Ken and Diana Gwyn, Ken Peavy, David Hiatt, Carol Surratt, and Sandra Moore met to discuss the possibility of beginning a charter school. After numerous meetings and mounds of paper work generated by the process of chartering a school in North Carolina, in January of the following year, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) granted a five-year charter to Millennium Educational Foundation, Incorporated. In 2003, the State Board of Education approved MCA's request to extend that charter to the year 2015.
The newly formed foundation quickly established committees and recruited additional citizens to help launch the school. Before there was land on which to build a school or even a facility in which to operate, these pioneers recruited students, a director (principal), and some of the best teachers in the area. They also mounted a low-key capital campaign, which garnered $5,000. In late spring Millennium Educational Foundation secured about twent-two acres of land, and within ninety days a 21,000 square foot, cost efficient, state-of-the-art building was erected.
In the meantime, Millennium Charter Academy opened its doors for kindergarten through fourth grades in space rented from the Mount Airy City Schools. Most of the parents associated with the school at that time helped clean the space and set up classrooms. As soon as J.S. Clark Construction Company completed the new building in September, those same families moved the school during a single weekend. Anticipating the growth that would come, within the year the Board of Directors successfully petitioned DPI for grades six, seven, eight, and a total of 360 students.
OUR RECENT HISTORY
To meet the needs of an increasing student enrollment and students growing in age, the school built a gymnasium, The Lion Arena, in 2002. Then, in 2006, to meet the demands of the community, MCA added the Upper Elementary wing for grades 4 and 5, and the Middle School for grade 6-8. At this point, our facility totaled 63,206 square feet.
OUR PROMISING FUTURE
We currently enroll approximately 475 students, and we will fill our facility at 550 students. Anticipating future needs, the school contracted an architect to draw a Fine Arts Center, which would be built at the end of the Middle School wing. It would house a 550-seat state-of-the-arts auditorium, with classroom and studio space behind. There are also plans for an Athletic Suite to be added behind the school near the current gymnasium. It would contain two multi-purpose spaces, one designed for dance and the other for wrestling. It would also have lockers and showers for students, including visiting teams, as well as a classroom, an athletic directors office, and storage.Currently, there is an ad hoc Board committee assigned to explore the feasibility of expanding MCA through the twelfth grade. If this comes to fruition, it would be located on another property, since there is not enough acreage on the exisiting property.