Midland Valley Prep’s decision to purchase the property where Compass Academy was being constructed thankfully makes a rotten situation into a relatively less rotten situation.
The community shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that it’s still a crummy ordeal for those who invested in the original idea. However, Midland Valley Prep’s decision helps to ensure that a property intended to be a community resource is going to be used in the manner it was originally intended.
The original investors in the property had a vision, but unfortunately, that vision came tumbling down because of the alleged disreputable dealings of Jay Brooks. The property has been the center of controversy for the past year after Brooks and his companies, J. Brooks Financial and Brooks Real Estate Holdings, were accused by the state attorney general’s office of illegally selling unregistered securities to fund the establishment of the school.
While the purchase of the property should be seen as a blessing for Midland Valley Prep, people still lost money in the process.
There are resources in place – that not everyone may know about – to ensure investors are dealing with reputable people and businesses, according to County Councilman Scott Singer.
One website in particular – www.finra.com – allows users to see if there are any complaints against an individual or organization. It’s a resource that should be seen as a public service.
If there’s a silver lining in the situation, it’s that Midland Valley Prep has been presented with an excellent opportunity to improve the educational experience for its students.
A Denver company, which works with charter schools throughout the nation, has purchased the incomplete Compass Academy from a receiver and is holding the property until the school can obtain financing to make the transition.
According to school officials such as Principal Patti Strom, the relocation plans represent a huge step forward.
“We’re going to have a facility that’s going to meet our needs,” Strom said. “I’m very, very excited, but also I’m very excited because I’m taking the one thing that truly matters – good teachers.”
Charles Lowe, Midland Valley board chairman, described the move as a significant change, particularly because of increased space as well as alleviating traffic concerns compared to the school’s current location on U.S. 1 near Aiken Technical College.
“It should be a much better situation for the teachers and students. The physical facilities that we’re in were not the best, so I’m looking forward to what they can do when they have a place that’s more suitable.”
As the school looks to transition into its new location, it should be viewed as another resource for education. While damage was done to the community, it’s still significant to note that some good has come of it.
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