Master Campus Plan

Excellence. It's what brings us together.

At Pace Academy, we’re always striving for excellence – in the classroom, on the stage and the playing field, in our community and, of course, on our campus. It’s that commitment that has inspired these proposed improvements to our school home. And now, we’re proud to share these working drafts with you – our families, our neighbors, our friends.

Proposed natatorium and wellness center

Proposed Projects

Working with a team of experts and our neighbors over the past two years, we identified four major opportunities for improvement. These proposed changes are not just investments in our campus. They’re investments in Atlanta and our neighborhood.

Other improvements of interest

  • Renovations to the school’s iconic “Castle”
  • Renovations to the Lower School cafeteria, music room and library
  • Addition of a student-designed, ADA-accessible Lower School playground
  • Updates to Boyd Gymnasium façade
  • Conversion of the existing natatorium into a multipurpose gathering and performance space
  • Consolidation of campus exits on West Paces Ferry Road and widening of the main entrance
multipurpose gathering space

Proposed multipurpose gathering and performance space

How We're Striving for Excellence

In every aspect of this plan, protecting and enhancing the character of the neighborhood is a priority. That’s why:

  1. We’re partnering with William T. Baker, an award winning residential designer, to ensure our new facilities complement the look and feel of the surrounding architecture while serving the long-term needs of our students and teachers.
  2. We’re working closely with a professional arborist to oversee the care and maintenance  of the magnificent trees on our campus. 
  3. We’re conducting a new hydrology study of our entire campus to understand any impact these projects might have. We are committed to making sure that everything we do improves the hydrology of our campus and neighborhood. 

These proposed improvements build on the long-term agreement Pace Academy developed with the West Paces Neighborhood Association back in 2007. Eleven years later, we’re aspiring to extend that agreement, improve it and continue our collaboration. Our promise is a continued commitment to excellence.

FAQ

These Frequently Asked Questions represent questions we have received from our community. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please reach out to us at PaceListens@paceacademy.org. We want to hear from you, share our proposed plans and address your questions.

Is Pace breaking the Neighborhood Agreement to renovate the campus?

No. We’re requesting the West Paces Neighborhood Association (WPNA) amend, improve and extend the agreement for another 20 years. Our proposed amendments come at the request of the Neighborhood Relations Committee, a group including Pace and WPNA representatives, that has met on a quarterly basis for the past 11 years. This committee asked us to look long-term at our campus needs, and we have spent the past two years working with neighbors and a cross-functional team of experts to do just that. We believe our plans represent the best enhancements to our campus and our section of West Paces Ferry.

Do your changes set a precedent for zoning other than residential on West Paces Ferry?

No, there is no precedent set by a Special Use Permit. Pace’s property is already under a SUP, which includes the properties at 854 and 840 West Paces Ferry. We plan to file a SUP to construct the natatorium (change of use), but this permit does not set a zoning precedent and does not impact anything beyond our campus.

Is Pace a neighborhood school?

Yes, since our inception, Pace has been an asset to the Atlanta educational landscape. More than half of our students live within 3 miles of our campus, and 85 percent of our students travel less than 6 miles to school. We are proud to be among the many fine neighborhood schools that sit within a 3-mile radius of our campus, including The Westminster Schools, Atlanta Classical Academy, The Lovett School, The Atlanta Girls School, Christ the King School, The Atlanta Speech School, Trinity School, The Atlanta International School, Holy Spirit Preparatory School and North Atlanta High School.

Is Pace Academy increasing the size of the campus or growing its enrollment?

Our proposed campus plan will make our school better, not bigger; it will not expand our footprint or increase our enrollment.

What is the timeline for these proposed projects?

If approved, the proposed improvements would take place over the next six to eight years. We have not yet filed a Special Use Permit (SUP) with the City of Atlanta and continue to enhance our plans, incorporating feedback from the Pace community and our Atlanta neighbors.

Why does the Randall House need to be replaced? Isn’t it historic?

The Randall House no longer serves the best interests of our students, faculty, parents and visitors. We propose to replace it with a structure to include state-of-the-art spaces for science, STEAM & Design and the Academic Resource Center; a multipurpose meeting and performance space; administrative offices; space for after-school programming; and an improved, student-designed, ADA-accessible playground. The Randall House is not on the National Register of Historic Places.

Are you adding a rear entrance on Rilman Road?

The current Lower School entrance/exit on Rilman Road will remain in place. No entrance from Rilman Road will be added to the rear of the campus. In fact, we are closing one driveway on Rilman Road and three driveways on West Paces Ferry Road. Consolidating exits on West Paces Ferry will improve safety and traffic flow.

Won’t the addition of these new buildings on West Paces Ferry Road harm the residential character of our neighborhood?

Protecting and enhancing our neighborhood is a top priority. We have engaged renowned residential designer William T. Baker to ensure that our new facilities fit seamlessly into our beautiful neighborhood. Throughout our process, we’ve repeatedly revised our plan to accomplish this goal. We are certain you will agree – these new designs are impressive!

These plans call for the removal of trees. Will they be replaced?

Great care has been taken in our planning to minimize the removal of trees. We pledge to plant more trees than will be removed, thereby enhancing our beautiful canopy for years to come.

How will these enhancements alleviate congestion on West Paces Ferry Road and the surrounding streets?

Our carpool process functions well, and Pace employs Atlanta Police Officers to ensure safe and efficient carpool circulation. We will continue to use our Rilman Road entrance and exit for Lower School carpool, and our West Paces Ferry entrance and exit for Middle and Upper School drop-off and pick-up. We stagger Middle and Upper School start times to minimize congestion.

In addition, our proposed plans call for the closing of three existing driveways on West Paces Ferry Road, which will improve safety and traffic flow. The addition of on-campus parking spots will provide sufficient parking for the entire Pace community and eliminate the need for on-street parking in our surrounding neighborhood.

Will the addition of new structures result in water-flow problems for our neighbors?

No. As part of our 2007 Neighborhood Cooperation Agreement, Pace undertook a hydrology study to better understand water flow on our campus. We’ve commissioned a new campus-wide hydrology study to understand any impact these proposed projects might have and better protect our neighborhood’s watershed.

With the elimination of the Head of School’s residence, where will Pace’s leadership live in future years?

Pace benefits from proximity to our Head of School’s home. We will ensure that current and future school leadership are able to live in the neighborhood.

You already have a pool. Why do you need to build a new one?

While working with master planners to review our long-term needs, we considered the growth of our thriving arts program and the need for additional rehearsal and event space. Relocating the natatorium from its current spot adjacent to the Fine Arts Center to the front of our campus allows us to create a hub for the arts. In addition, locating an event space at the rear of the campus allows for adequate event parking. 

Several campus changes were approved in the 2007 Neighborhood Cooperation Agreement. Why not proceed with these projects?

In the spirit of striving for excellence, we want to ensure that any changes made to our campus serve the best interests of our students, faculty, staff and neighbors. The 2007 agreement would permit us to build a parking deck fronting West Paces Ferry, where the Lower School playground now sits. It also allows for the construction of a parking deck in the rear of our campus, as well as a parking lot at 840 West Paces Ferry to accommodate 30 cars. After extensive planning with land use experts, architects and designers, we know we can do better. Our hope is to update the plan based on our learning and do just that.

Who should I contact to voice my support to the WPNA Board?

The members of the WPNA Board are very interested in your feedback. Feel free to reach out to them directly via email at contactwestpaces@gmail.com

What if I have questions for Pace?

We’re listening! Please contact us at PaceListens@paceacademy.org.

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