Valor Preparatory Academy, a private Christian school, sees a growth spurt coming as it occupies the former Texas Christian Academy campus at New Road and Sanger Avenue.
Founded in 2013, Valor held classes at local churches before it bought the rambling complex that became available after Texas Christian Academy announced in January last year it would close after the school year ended that spring.
After initial marketing attempts failed, Community Bank & Trust to took possession of the property and negotiated a deal with Valor, said local real estate agent Brad Harrell, whose agency listed the site.
“Valor had talked with us several times, but we could not get a deal done because of time constraints related to TCA’s closing,” Harrell said.
Marketing the property was difficult because of the age and condition of the buildings and their status as a “specialized asset” suitable primarily for use as a school or something comparable, he said.
Harrell said the asking price hovered around $790,000, but he does not know the details of the deal struck between Community Bank & Trust and Valor. Bank officials could not be reached for comment, and Valor headmaster Jared Nazarian declined to name a price.
“We love this location and believe we’re here for the long haul,” Nazarian said. "It's central to Waco and convenient for several of our families, including those in the Hewitt and Woodway communities.”
Valor serves about 160 students in kindergarten through seventh grade, and the new facility will allow it to pursue a goal of expanding by one grade level each year until it offers kindergarten through 12th grade, Nazarian said.
The school is a hybrid between a traditional private school and home schooling. Students attend classes at Valor on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and parents offer instruction on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Tuition will be $4,500 next year for first grade and higher and $3,300 for kindergarten, Nazarian said.
Valor follows the curriculum of the National Association of University-Model Schools, which provides school administrators with training, consultation, conferences and assistance with getting accredited.
Valor employs 12 full-time teachers, five aides and a handful of support staffers, Nazarian said.
He said Valor officials are determined to hire the teachers and incur the added expenses that will be required to meet their goal of offering classes through 12th grade.
The former Texas Christian Academy campus includes a large building and five smaller buildings totaling almost 31,000 square feet on more than 4 acres. It has more than an acre of parking that can accommodate more than 100 vehicles, according to material provided by Harrell’s real estate agency.
Nazarian said Valor already has partially renovated the main building and will turn its attention to others when time and resources permit.
He said the new facilities will free teachers from having to tear down and reassemble classrooms at temporary quarters Valor has relied on in recent years, including at Redeemer Waco and Victorious Life Church.
Texas Christian Academy decided to close after Eagle Christian Academy announced it would establish a new high school in the former Waco Baptist Academy, former Texas Christian board member Chuck Howard said at the time of the decision.