The AACt now! Capital Campaign will raise $14 million for Community Preparatory School’s expansion and scholarship endowment – while also funding our Head of School search and providing ongoing support for the Annual Fund.
Nearly 40 years ago, Dan Corley sat in his living room with a group of parents and community leaders to create a middle school. He chose the name "Community" to emphasize parent, volunteer, and neighborhood participation – as well as the diversity of the student body. Parents selected "Preparatory" to stress academic commitment. In the fall of 1984, Community Preparatory School opened with 25 students and three teachers in rented classrooms at the John Hope Settlement House.
Community Prep's growth and progress – a constant upward trajectory – reflect its evolving maturity. Today, the school proudly recognizes 958 graduates and a faculty of 15 dedicated educators. Its cherished 'Beloved Community' has been thoughtfully nurtured and continues to provide students with academic rigor and exceptional opportunities. It is no coincidence that 97% of Community Prep's graduates have been accepted to competitive college preparatory high school programs.
While it seems unimaginable, a historic moment of transition is on the horizon: Dan has announced he will retire at the completion of the 2023-2024 school year.
Dan Corley's entrepreneurial spirit and determination are as legendary as his energy. And Dan is committed to one last major campaign to complete his vision: to transition the school's physical plant to a full-service campus commensurate with its academic reputation to house extracurricular activities, community participants, and – most importantly – to ensure that every Community Prep student has a welcoming haven for their development.
Converting a vision to reality requires planning, sound strategy, and often bold steps.
When the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose to acquire every property on its side of the street, Dan and the Board of Trustees did not hesitate to act and purchased #22 and #32 Tanner Street resulting in ownership of all the footage of its block. This tactical acquisition guaranteed:
• Access to connect the north and south side of CP’s property
• Secure pathways for youngsters walking to and from classrooms throughout the campus
• Ability to fence the entire property for the safety and security of students and faculty
• Additional footage and the requisite land to construct an Arts and Athletic Center
Build the Arts and Athletic Center
Completing Community Prep's campus, a process decades in the making, will culminate with the construction of an 11,500 square foot arts and athletic center (AAC). The new facility will have the capacity to host an audience of approximately 700 – the school's entire community at one time, a first for Community Prep.
The AAC will not only be a gym and art gallery but will also provide our school community with an opportunity to gather in one space for graduations, school shows, and athletic events. The ability for our Beloved Community to gather in one place, under one roof, cannot be underestimated. And it has not been possible until now.
Expand to Kindergarten
It has long been the dream of Community Preparatory School supporters to offer our rigorous self-actualizing educational program to children at the start of their academic lives.
Over the next decade, we hope to grow Community Prep to serve children in kindergarten through the eighth grade. This will happen slowly and strategically, as we build the endowment necessary to support this expansion – including funding scholarships and adding new classrooms as needed.
Search for the New Head of School
Finding the right person to follow in Dan Corley’s footsteps will not be an easy task. It will require a national search to find a head of school with the creativity and ingenuity to keep Community Preparatory School moving forward through the 21st century. The Board of Trustees is committed to providing the resources for Community Prep’s first-ever leadership transition – not only to secure the school’s future, but also to further Dan’s incredible legacy.