has announced plans to build The Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School, a 75,000-square-foot facility that will replace the current Upper School, constructed in 1961.
To reach its $32 million fundraising goal, the school has launched Aim High, its largest capital campaign to date. The family of Atlanta Falcons Owner & Chairman and The Home Depot Co-Founder Arthur M. Blank contributed Aim High’s lead gift.
“As the parent of a Pace graduate and three current Pace students, I have seen firsthand the impact the school has on the lives of its students,” said Blank. “Pace is a community dedicated to excellence in every arena, and its focus on outstanding academics, close student-teacher relationships, service learning, diversity and global education sets it apart. This new Upper School facility will ensure the school’s continued excellence for generations to come. My family and I are thankful to be part of the Pace family and excited to contribute to the new Upper School.”
Designed by Pace Academy alumnus Sandy Cooper of Collins Cooper Carusi Architects, the facility will provide students with nearly double the space of the current Upper School and will include The Woodruff Library, a gift of Jane Woodruff and Buck and Ann Woodruff. The building’s crowning jewel, The Woodruff Library will overlook W. Paces Ferry Road from three stories and will be equipped with twenty-first century technology.
The Student Commons, a 1,500-square-foot place for community building and collaborative learning, will serve as a hub for all Upper School students. The building’s Academic Resource Center will feature private tutoring rooms and a learning lab, and state-of-the-art classrooms and science labs will allow students to use cutting-edge technology and gain hands-on experience in a safe environment. Construction will begin immediately following the 2012-13 school year, and The Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School building will open for the start of the 2014-15 year.
“Pace Academy has long produced graduates who matriculate to the finest colleges and universities and who embody our mission: to create prepared, confident citizens of the world,” said Head of School Fred Assaf. “The quality of The Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School will match the Pace Academy educational experience and provide our school family with a space that inspires creativity, innovation and academic excellence.”
Board of Trustees Chair Tim Walsh, Pace Academy Class of 1981, asked Pace parents and Board of Trustees members Elizabeth Richards and Robert Sheft to co-chair the Aim High campaign committee. The committee is comprised of current parents and parents of alumni, grandparents, alumni, faculty and staff. Already, Pace families, alumni, foundations and other friends of the school have raised more than $22 million toward the campaign goal.
The school has obtained approvals from the City of Atlanta for special zoning needs in conjunction with The Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School. In obtaining these approvals, Pace Academy worked closely with its neighbors, both individually and through the W. Paces/Northside Neighborhood Association and Neighborhood Planning Unit-A. In addition, the school had public hearings before the City’s Board of Zoning Adjustment, Zoning Review Board, City Council Zoning Committee and the full City Council.
Pace Academy is a college preparatory independent day school founded in 1958 in the heart of Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. The school serves 1,070 students in the Pre-First through 12th grades. Its student-teacher ratio is 9:1, and class sizes average 15 students. The school adheres to Judeo-Christian values and places a major emphasis on character development. Pace is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Southern Association of Independent Schools.