TCPS to buy property for new campus
by By DAVID DAVIS Managing Editor
Aug 07, 2013 | 2463 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tennessee Christian Preparatory School signed a lease agreement July 31 with the option to purchase approximately 89 acres of land on North Lee Highway.

The property is on the southern edge of the Cleveland Country Club and fronts on North Lee Highway.

Board of trustees’ president Brad Benton said, “I don’t know a better piece of property in Bradley County. Not only the amount of property but the lay of the land will allow a beautiful campus to be developed that will serve this region for years.”

According to school president Dr. Bill Balzano, “Our school family is elated to know that in the future we will have a state-of-the-art campus for students attending TCPS. This marks the beginning of a new and exciting episode in the young life of TCPS.”

The school currently leases the former Tomlinson College campus on North Lee Highway.

“We have been blessed to be on such a fine piece of property as this former college campus. Our lessors, the Church of God of Prophecy, have been gracious to this school since it located here; we have been and are grateful for the consideration and support given by our lessors during these years,” Balzano said.

The school plans to initiate a capital campaign to pay off the new property and begin construction on an initial structure for the school. According to Balzano, it may be a few years before the school relocates.

“The board of trustees will spend a great deal of time preparing a study of a phased development of the new campus as well as planning and executing a capital campaign,” Balzano said, “I announced the lease purchase July 31 to our administrative team, our employees, and our parent community. We are all very, very, excited and look forward to developing a campus that will provide excellent academic, athletic, and fine arts facilities, and be a wonderful asset for the citizens of Cleveland and Bradley County.”

He said the board of trustees deserves an immense amount of praise for the persistent and unrelenting pursuit of property for the school. The board members are Brad Benton, Ron Barker, Dan Chord, Jerry DeVane, Terry Forshee, John Kugler, Jerry Stout and Dennis Tumlin.

TCPS is fully accredited by SACS (AdvancED) and serves students in this region by providing an outstanding college preparatory education from a Christian worldview. Students attend TCPS from Bradley, Hamilton, McMinn, Monroe, Meigs and Polk counties.

TCPS has been in Bradley County since 1997 when a group of interested parents purchased a small Christian school (Hosanna Christian Academy), changed the name to Tennessee Christian Academy, and located on the former Tomlinson College Campus. An independent board of trustees was established and empowered to develop policies for the operation of the school.

Tennessee Christian Academy was incorporated in the state of Tennessee as an interdenominational, not-for-profit educational institution. The school began with a new name, a new charter, a new board of trustees, and a new campus on North Lee Highway.

For the next decade, the Academy provided a strong academic foundation for students in preschool through 12th grade. Scores of students and their families were served by, and many alumni reside in, the Cleveland/Bradley community.

In 2007, a new school president, Balzano, was hired; he came with a strong background in independent, Christian school leadership.

A new vision was developed which involved becoming one of the region’s strongest independent schools. Shortly thereafter, a five-year strategic plan was developed to lead the young school into a place of service and prominence within the educational community.

The school name was changed from Tennessee Christian Academy to Tennessee Christian Preparatory School; this change foretold a dramatic shift in the energy and vision of the school.

While fully accredited by the Tennessee Department of Education through the Tennessee Association of Non-Public Academic Schools, the school sought and received regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.

TCPS has generated standardized test scores for the last five years worthy of consideration for the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award.

Students perform, on average, two to three grade levels above their actual grade as measured by the tests.

In the last two years a middle and high school football program has been initiated, as well as baseball and softball. The school is competitive in these sports as well as basketball, volleyball, tennis and golf.

The school intends to unleash an outstanding comprehensive Fine Arts program to serve TCPS and the community.

The last factor in establishing the school as an enduring asset for the Cleveland/Bradley community is to secure a permanent home for the school, Balzano said.