GEO Prep Academy of Greater Baton Rouge is moving forward with plans to relocate to the former site of St. Louis King of France Church on North Sherwood Forest Drive.
The charter school has finalized a $4.75 million buy of the church property at 2311 N. Sherwood Forest Dr., which includes the former church and a school on more than 15 acres.
“It’s pretty much move-in ready. We’re just going to touch it up with some new paint,” says Dana Teasley, vice president, CFO and general counsel for GEO Foundation, an Indianapolis nonprofit that operates about a half-dozen schools, two of which are in Baton Rouge.
The church and school have been negotiating the sale since the spring when the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education formally approved moving the school. GEO Prep Academy opened three years ago at 4006 Platt Drive. It was started as a K-3 school and has been adding a grade each year since.
“We have just grown so much over the past two years that we need more space,” Teasley says, adding the school will serve grades K-6 beginning this fall and will eventually expand to grades K-8.
About 540 students are expected to be on the new campus this fall. The school’s first class had about 150 students. GEO Foundation—which also operates GEO Prep Mid-City at 1900 Lobdell Blvd.—also has plans to open a high school in Baton Rouge in the 2019-2020 school year. Teasley says a location for the school has yet to be identified.
The St. Louis King of France property became available after the church merged with St. Thomas More.