It's the former Catoctin Inn & Conference Center in Buckeystown.
After several months with no new place to hold classes for the upcoming school year, St. Thomas More Academy has found a new home. "We're are very excited to announce that we are moving just down the road to Buckeystown, to the property that Alexander's restaurant currently resides on, also formerly known as the Catoctin Inn and Conference Center," says Ajay Patil, the President of the school's Board of Directors.
Patil says St. Thomas More plans to enter the building in April, and begin renovation work. He expects to have the school up and running at its new location by August, 2012. "By using both of the buildings that are directly next to each other, what they call the Carriage House as well as the former Inn, we are able to renovate them such that we have plenty room for pre-K through three, all the way to eight," Patil says.
Alexander's will continue to operate as a restaurant.
St. Thomas More Academy sold its current classroom building to St. John's Catholic Prep in December, 2011.
A statement from the school says Sandy Lankler, owner of Alexander's and other surrounding properties, offered to give the parcel and other adjacent lands to St. Thomas More Academy for the upcoming school year. "There is no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit guided us to Alexander. Mr. Lankler's generosity to St. Thomas More Academy is simply unprecedented and came at the perfect time for the school," says Patil in the statement.
After the current site was sold in December, it almost looked like St. Thomas More wouldn't have a place to hold classes when the academic begins in August. "It was a time period that had us all very energized," Patil says. "It was a little nerve wracking, but I felt really confident that we would be shown the correct way."
St. Thomas More Academy began at space provided by Peace of Christ Lutheran Church in Walkersville during the previous decade before moving to Buckeystown.
St. John's Catholic Prep had purchased some property next to St. Thomas More and planned to build a school there eventually. But the opportunity to buy the St. Thomas More Academy building came up, and St. John's took advantage of that. It also plans to open at its new location August, leaving its current facility along Butterfly Lane, which it has called home for many years.
Patil says parents who still want to register their children for St. Thomas More Academy for the 2012-13 school year can still do so. He says tuition for the upcoming year has been reduced.
According to the statement, St. Thomas More Academy is an independent school rooted in the Catholic faith, providing a classical liberal arts curriculum.