Last week, JUTP wrote about a proposal to build new homes on Chelsea's five-acre campus on Pershing Drive, which the school's sold to Bethesda-based developer EYA. Though we reported that representatives from EYA and the school have both met with the nearby Seven Oaks-Evanswood Civic Association, the Chelsea School has in fact not spoken to the community, Messina says.
"The Board of Governors has not released an official statement as of yet," he writes.
In a comment left last Wednesday, Messina further explained the school's plans:
Dear Chelsea School Community,
The Chelsea School Board of Governors has spent the past year and a half working on the sale of the Chelsea School campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. We are happy to announce that we have signed a letter-of-agreement with the EYA Development Corporation for the sale of our property. We will not be leaving this property for at least twenty-seven months and are scheduled to depart Silver Spring in August of 2012.
There are specific benchmarks that need to be met before closing this campus. If timelines are adjusted or any other disruption occurs which interferes with the sale of the school, we will inform the community immediately. It is our goal to make this process as transparent as possible and to involve our parents and staff in important committee work as it unfolds over the next twenty-seven months.
We see the sale of our school property as very positive; it allows us to grow our program and it ensures long-term financial stability. The decision not to build a permanent home in Silver Spring was based on strong enrollment trends. It is financially beneficial to work closely with the two jurisdictions that fund the majority of our students: Prince George’s County and the District of Columbia.
To this end, we are looking at both of these geographic areas to be our new home, with our long-term goal to be in both locations. It is important to note that we will continue to welcome and recruit private-pay families and students funded by all school systems.
We will continue provide a superior program model that meets the needs of students with language-based learning challenges. The integrity of our program model is paramount and will be the guiding force behind all decisions for the future. While we are eventually moving to a new location, we will not change who we are and what you have come to know and love about our organization. We appreciate your continued kind words and unwavering support.
Tony Messina, Head of School