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Utopian Academy For The Arts| Georgia Approved Charter Middle School » Utopian Academy for the Arts Wins Promise Of Lease Extension From Clayton County School Board

Utopian Academy for the Arts Wins Promise

Of Lease Extension From Clayton County School Board


Clayton County school board members on Monday told Utopian Academy for the Arts supporters that the school will receive an extension of its lease agreement.
The news came about a week after more than 100 Utopian Academy parents, students, and staff packed a school board work session urging Clayton County Schools not to bulldoze the Riverdale campus in June. Negotiations to purchase the site had broken down between Utopian Academy and Clayton Schools due to a disagreement over the estimated value of the building which caused the purchase deadline to be missed.
The lease extension, which will be formally voted on in April, gives Utopian Academy more time to get an independent inspection of the building to determine its market value.

“We were told that the board will not evict any child or staff member from the site,” said Artesius Miller, executive director and founder of Utopian Academy. “I feel great. Another milestone has been achieved.” Miller said the board’s promise will keep the school from having to make a rush decision on buying the building. Utopian Academy was told the purchase price was more than $1.5 million.

School officials plan to get a second opinion. “We can start setting the foundation for what a permanent home looks like for Utopian Academy,” Miller said. Following the meeting, Miller and Sharon Daniel, board chair of Utopian Academy, thanked parents, scholars, and community supporters for their activism in helping the board to reconsider. Hundreds of emails to Clayton County board members asking them to save the school from being demolished and continue negotiations.

“When you see an injustice you have to speak on it,” Miller said. “You have to remain steadfast in your actions and be vocal on what you believe to be fair and right by students. As taxpayers, parents have to understand that they are constituents. Their voice really does matter.”

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