Private Christian school Radiant Life Academy is planning to expand its building footprint in west Orange County over the coming year, with aim to double its current enrollment over the next five years.
Founded in 1992, the academy now has more than 240 students in Pre-K through 9th grade, with 27 teachers and 36 staff overall, said Felix Theodore, media director.
The academy has asked Orange County for a special exception to its A-1 zoning district to add a two-story, 13,000-square-foot addition to its existing building, and increase its seating capacity to 400 children.
The new building addition would cover 6,800 square feet per floor, and would provide additional classrooms, an expanded preschool room, and two new sanctuaries for teenagers and younger children, Theodore said.
"Our pastor (Jeff Cromwell) has though about expansion for a while now, the idea is to reach the kids around us in this neighborhood who aren't attending the academy now, but come in and use the after-school facilities," he said. "We have a youth room now that's too crowded with kids at night. Because the ministry is expanding, the school is also expanding."
The academy wants to expand its class range to 12th grade in the coming years, this being its first year with 9th graders, Theodore said.
A general contractor has yet to be chosen for the expansion work. Construction on the new building could begin in early 2017 while school is in session, because the new building will only have a small connection made to the existing facility, Theodore said.
The academy's request will go before the Board of Zoning Adjustment on Dec. 1, followed by a prospective consent agenda approval by county commissioners later that month or in January.