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Plans stall for new charter school building on Antelope Road


Charter school
A traffic flow plan for a proposed charter school is shown in documents submitted to the city.

By Sara Beth Williams–
Plans for construction of a 25,000-square-foot charter school building in Citrus Heights have stalled, but the goal to bring the campus to Citrus Heights still remains, says Robin Stout, Superintendent of the Rocklin Academy Family of Schools.

The initial goal was to open the new American River Collegiate Academy campus at 7951 Antelope Rd. in the fall of 2022, in time for the 2022/23 school year. However, no work has begun at the site so far.

In a phone call to The Sentinel, Stout indicated the project is a $20 million investment and said it’s “a significant cost for the Rocklin Academy to take on.” Stout cited multiple obstacles that have kept them from breaking ground at the Citrus Heights location, including the increased cost of construction materials, and a significant drop in enrollment during the pandemic.

The California Department of Education reported in a news release dated April 11, 2022, that enrollment dropped by more than 110,000 students during the 2021/22 school year.

“That was a really unsettling time for everyone,” Stout said, referring to opening a new campus during the pandemic when schools were required to utilize home-based learning. “It was unknown territory. We’re being mindful of that.”

Despite pandemic-related setbacks, Stout is hopeful for the future and says the charter school has been making good faith payments to Foundation Church, which owns the land the school plans to use for their Citrus Heights campus. The church recently rebranded from its original name, Antelope Road Christian Fellowship.

Phone calls and emails left for the pastor were not returned by press time Friday night.

Stout said the Rocklin Academy board plans to meet later this year, in December, to revisit plans and decide whether to move forward with building the Antelope Road campus.

Plans for the project were unanimously approved by the Citrus Heights Planning Commission on Sept. 22, 2021. The school site plans include a two-story building with 22 classrooms and administrative spaces, and a multi-purpose room.

Plans show pickup and drop-off access for the campus via Wonder Street, east of Antelope Road, which drew some concern during a public hearing last year. Shared parking with Foundation Church and staggering pick up and drop off times are incorporated into the plans to assist in the flow of expected increases in traffic.

From September: Plans for new charter school campus approved by Citrus Heights Planning Commission

American River Collegiate Academy is a publicly funded charter school and part of the Rocklin Academy Family of Schools, which includes Rocklin Academy, Rocklin Academy Gateway, Rocklin Academy Preschool, and Western Sierra Collegiate Academy.

The American River Collegiate Academy is currently using temporary classroom facilities a 7755 Hazel Ave., in Orangevale. The charter school serves grades TK through 3rd grade and has openings in TK and 3rd grade at their current campus.

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