BRANDON — Tricia Rudolph, school psychologist at Brandon Academy Private School, said the school recently broke ground on a new gymnasium and classroom building, just part of the campus expansion needed to help the school transition into offering high school classes.
Rudolph of Dover, who owns the private school with her husband, Robert, will serve as the director of the new high school. It is expected to open in the fall of 2015.
“The response has been fantastic,” she said. “So much better than we anticipated for a first year. Not only is our current population excited to know that they have Brandon Academy available for high school, but the word is already getting out in the community and we are excited to welcome our ninth graders that will be new to BA.”
The school, at 801 Limona Road in Brandon, will offer the academically-rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma program for its high school students. The IB program at the academy appeals to parents who believe it will help their children stand out when applying for colleges.
“It is a fact that getting into college these days is much more competitive than it was just a few years ago,” Tricia Rudolph said. “Any edge a student can have to stand out and get the attention of the admissions committee at their desired college is extremely important. Attending a school that offers the IB Diploma Program, an internationally recognized, respected program, certainly provides that to students.”
She expects workers will complete the new building projects by May or June. Students will use the gym for basketball and volleyball games, school theater productions, music recitals, school assemblies and graduations. The new classroom building will include four classrooms for the IB High School.
Robert Rudolph, head of Brandon Academy, accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools, said Brandon Academy was established in 1970 as an independent school. Robert and Tricia Rudolph are the third owners of the school.
“For as long as we can recall, our families have asked for our school to expand to include high school,” Robert Rudolph said. “We have heard for years that there is no high school in the area that provides a program that matches the experience they enjoyed when their children attended BA through the eighth grade. In fact, many of those seeking a private high school experience must travel to Tampa, where the tuition is more than double our tuition.”
He said Brandon Academy’s tuition for the 2015-16 school year ranges for $6,100 to $10,900 depending on the program and grade level.
For information, call the Brandon Academy at (813) 689-1952 or visit brandon-academy.com.