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Hyattsville Set to Host College Park Academy

New public charter school for middle, high schoolers to operate at former St. Mark's school site.

The College Park Academy will come to have a slightly misleading moniker when it opens in northern Hyattsville later this year, according to a report published yesterday in The Gazette. 

The new charter school originally was planned to open in College Park but will instead be opening in the currently vacant school campus at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church on Adelphi Road. 

The move comes after school officials abandoned plans to operate the school at the old College Park Elementary School building, a block off of Route 1 on Calvert Road. 

However, the College Park Elementary School building is more than 100 years old–it was last used as a school in 1978–and needed costly renovations to pass inspection and meet the needs of its projected student body.

Some College Park residents also objected to locating a school there, saying that increased traffic–among other concerns–would harm the character of the neighborhood.

The College Park Academy, once open, will serve middle and high school age students from Prince George's County. The school is a joint venture between the University of Maryland and the city of College Park, who are each funding the school to the tune of $80,000, plus $2.5 million in funding from Prince George's County. Students will be able to earn up to 60 college credits by the time they graduate. School officials are crafting a curiculum which mixes face-to-face learning with digital and web-based teaching methods.  

The school is projected to have 575 students by 2017. By that time, school officials hope to have found a new location within College Park to host the school, according to The Gazette. They plan on staying at St. Marks for only two years. 

Located near the intersection of Adelphi Road and University Boulevard, the St. Marks campus has been vacant (with the exception of a summer camp session last year) since June 2010 when St. Mark's Elementary School merged with St. Camillus Elementary School to become the Silver Spring-based St. Francis International School.

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