It's the former Middletown Primary School building.
St. Thomas More Academy, an independent school rooted in the Catholic faith, has found a new home. The school has agreed with the Frederick County Board of Education to lease the old Middletown Primary School on Prospect Street.
"The lease commences in August and we'll begin improvements prior to that time. The idea is to move in on time immediately following the Labor Day Weekend," says Ajay Patil, the president of St. Thomas More Academy's Board of Directors. "So we'll be open on time as planned." He says the school will open after Labor Day.
Right now, St. Thomas More Academy is renting the old Middletown Primary School building, but hopes to purchase it one day.
St. Thomas More Academy sold its former site on Buckeystown Pike to St. John's Catholic Prep, which will move into the new facility from its Prospect Hall location off of Butterfly Lane, and establish a high school. The Academy had received a gift from the owner of the former Catoctin Inn and Conference Center in Buckeystown to use as its new school for grades K through eight. But, Patil says, that offer was withdrawn. "Because we're in some discussions with our attorneys right now, I can't comment on the details of what went down. But the bottom line is we were left with no location to go to and we had to go into a scramble mode," he says.
Prior to agreeing on the gift of the former Catoctin Inn and Conference Center, Patil says St. Thomas More had considered the Middletown Primary School building, which has been vacant for two years, and is up for sale. "It was a consideration early on. When someone gives you a property, everything else pales in comparison," says Patil.
He says St. Thomas More Academy has found a good home in Middletown. "The town of Middletown has been incredibly welcoming to us. It's a good fit, given the very Catholic community that exists in Middletown, and the fact that a building was sitting vacant," he says.
St. Thomas More Academy started out during the last decade by renting out space at Peace of Christ Lutheran Church in Walkersville before moving to its former location on Buckeystown Pike.