NSA welcomes new campus

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, August 11, 2016

More than 100 people gathered at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s Harbour View campus on Thursday evening. Alumni, parents, city officials and students were in attendance.

“This is a huge day for Suffolk,” Mayor Linda T. Johnson during her opening remarks. “This is another experience of growing and growing in the right way.”

After remarks from the mayor and school officials, members of the school’s Board of Trustees and students cut the ribbon.

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Attendees then filed into the building and marveled at the impressive amenities. The facility houses more than 10 classrooms, two multi-purpose rooms, a cafeteria and a library, among other amenities. The campus is expected to accommodate 230 students, according to Deborah Russell, the academy’s headmaster.

Inside, faculty greeted attendees by their classrooms and explained plans for the upcoming school year.

Dana Thompson, an alumna and first-grade teacher at the new campus, was excited for the school year and “glad to be back.”

“It’s very exciting to be a part of something new,” she said. “It’s been great to come back and be welcomed with open arms.”

Construction for the 22,500-square-foot campus began in June of last year. This campus will cater only to kindergarten through the third grade.

The major driving force for the new campus was to accommodate the growing population in North Suffolk.

“Now, families in these areas with young elementary-age children have access to the same outstanding, fully-accredited, college preparatory program that is offered at NSA’s main campus, but in an atmosphere closer to home,” Russell stated in an email.

In November of 2014, the academy’s board of trustees announced the launch of a $6 million campaign to help support the Harbour View campus. Donations exceeded the campaign goal, with more than $7.1 million raised to date.

“If anyone else wants to write a check tonight, we would be glad to receive it,” chairman of the academy’s board of trustees G. Robert Aston Jr. said jokingly during his opening remarks.

The main campus, located on Pruden Boulevard, was founded in 1966. The 166,000-square-foot facility has 730 students enrolled, accommodating pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Classes are expected to begin on Aug. 24.