Helen Thackston Charter School is planning ant expansion of its building on East Philadelphia Street in York City.
Helen Thackston Charter School is planning ant expansion of its building on East Philadelphia Street in York City. (Submitted photo)

Helen Thackston Charter School will open next month with more students and more room.

"A two and one-half year struggle" to add space and renovate an old building downtown is near completion, according to Lee Bostic, school operations manager.

Bostic spoke about the multimillion dollar project Wednesday morning during the York County Commissioners meeting.

Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the General Authority of Southcentral Pennsylvania to issue up to $15 million of tax-exempt financing on the project.

The tax-exempt financing will greatly reduce the school's debt, Bostic said.

Upon completion, the school will expand to 68,000 square feet and increase its student capacity to 775 students.

The school enrolled 500 students in grades 5 through 9 last year.

This fall, Helen Thackston will teach grades 5 through 11; next fall that will switch to grades 6 through 12, according to Anne Clark, community outreach specialist for the school.

The need: With 500 students last year, the school on the corner of East Philadelphia Street and Ridge Avenue was in need of repair and expansion - so much that some administrators and staff were working in the hallways during the build, Bostic said.

"We grew way outside our limits," he said.

The 46,000-square-foot addition includes a cafeteria that will also be used as a gymnasium, a new library, additional restrooms and water fountains on each floor of the three-story building, new lockers, large windows and class space.


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A ribbon cutting is set for Thursday, Sept. 26 - exactly one year after the groundbreaking ceremony for the addition.

Candy Woodall can also be reached at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.