Bridges Preparatory School, a state charter school in its first year of operation, will purchase the Beaufort Boys & Girls Club building on Boundary Street by July 1.
The deal, announced in a news release Tuesday, will allow Bridges Prep to expand its campus in downtown Beaufort. It currently leases the Boys & Girls Club for classroom space and also holds classes at the Charles Lind Activity Center less than a mile away.
Tuesday's announcement followed confirmation late last week that the school's partnership with HighMark School Development, a company that specializes in buying and redeveloping locations for charter schools, had dissolved.
A purchase of the 1.22-acre property financed by HighMark was to close May 19. However, the school's board voted to end its partnership with HighMark because the costs stated in a final agreement presented by the company were higher than those agreed to in an earlier letter of understanding, the news release said.
Never miss a local story.
Instead, the Boys & Girls Club will finance the purchase of the building at 1100 Boundary St.
Details of that deal will be released after it closes July 1, the school said in its release.
Bridges Prep serves students in kindergarten through sixth grade but plans to add more grades each year, starting with seventh grade in the upcoming school year. The school opened last August with all its classrooms filled, and about 150 students are on a waiting list, according to John Payne, chairman of the Bridges board of directors.
"We are buying the Boys & Girls Club property ourselves, giving us a permanent home, and we'll expand in coming years," he said in the release. "We'll be in a stronger financial position by buying the site, enabling us to expand our gifted and talented services for the next school year and give our staff modest raises."
South Carolina state charter schools receive money from the state government for operational costs but not for facilities.
Bridges recently requested $6.8 million from Beaufort County to be funded by a proposed 1 percent sales tax, according to commission member Scott Richardson. That would help fund renovations and construction of an additional building to accommodate growing enrollment.
The tax commission has until the beginning of June to create a list of projects, and County Council must approve proposals by Aug. 15 if the sales-tax measure is to go before voters in November.
The school intends to renovate and expand the Boys & Girls Club building. The project would include all-new classrooms for students in kindergarten through eighth grade on land adjacent to the Boys & Girls Club, preserving green space and adding additional on-street parking, according to the release.
It was not immediately clear whether that land also would be included in the deal set to close July 1.
The school is "exploring options to add classrooms for high school grades in about two years," the release said.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry's decision to sell the Boundary Street property is part of a national movement, according to the release -- of the 3,800 clubs in the U.S., more than half are in schools, public housing or military facilities rather than in stand-alone sites.