After almost 17 years of serving the Waco community, Texas Christian Academy will shut its doors at the end of this school year.
Officials for the private Christian-based sixth- through 12th-grade school announced the decision publicly late last week.
Though the schools are not merging or joining in any way, the decision coincides with the start of enrollment for a new high school at Eagle Christian Academy expected to open this fall, said Chuck Howard, Texas Christian Academy board president.
“We made the decision to close the school based on our conversations with Eagle Christian Academy establishing its new high school,” Howard said Tuesday. “We felt it would be more beneficial to have one school system rather than have two schools competing for the same students, especially since we share the same values and we shared the same students over the years.”
The move makes better financial sense for the school because until this coming year, Eagle Christian Academy has served only pre-kindergarten through middle school students, and high school and students were often moving to Texas Christian Academy from the lower grade levels at Eagle, Howard said.
The schools are about a five-minute drive from each other, with Texas Christian Academy at 4600 Sanger Ave. and Eagle Christian Academy at 6125 Bosque Blvd.
Eagle Christian Academy was formerly known as Waco Baptist Academy until May, when officials with the school decided to change the name and clarify the school is nondenominational, incoming board president Blake Mattson said Tuesday.
The high school will allow Eagle Christian Academy to offer pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade classes.
While Texas Christian Academy students are not required to move to Eagle Christian Academy High School, officials are encouraging families to enroll and encouraging faculty and staff to apply for any open positions the new high school may have, Howard said.
“We feel like as a board that God has opened a door to bring us together and eliminate some of the difficulties we have — competing for students as well as the financial burdens we’ve had with limited enrollment,” Howard said.
Texas Christian Academy serves about 50 students in sixth through 12th grade. Tuition was $6,900, with a $250 registration fee and a $425 school fee for the 2015-16 school year, according to the school’s website. Tuition information for Eagle Christian Academy was not available Wednesday.
Texas Christian Academy’s building is up for sale, and Mattson said Eagle Christian Academy would love to have Texas Christian Academy students come to the new high school. Mattson said officials still are discussing enrollment space and availability.
“We’re excited about this new high school and this new opportunity for families who are looking for a high-academic, Christian education for their child,” Mattson said.