March 17, 2023


Contact: Brian Myrup 803-325-9720

York Preparatory Academy Halts Plans to Build Second Campus

ROCK HILL, SC – York Preparatory Academy, a K-12 public charter school, is no longer planning to construct a second campus to serve the more than 1,100 students on its waiting list. After careful deliberation, the YPA Board of Directors voted Thursday night to stop the effort due to rising material costs and lost revenue caused by delays in starting construction. 

While YPA has secured all necessary approvals from Federal and state agencies to begin construction, it has been unable to satisfy York County’s requirements for a grading permit despite multiple applications in 2022 and 2023.

“We know this is going to be a huge disappointment to the families who have children on the waiting list,” said Board Chairman Scott Smith. “But we cannot afford to delay the opening to 2025, which is where we are now due to the latest permit denial.”

In 2021 YPA was approved for a $46MM USDA loan. The loan plus YPA’s cash reserves enabled it to afford the project. Public charter schools do not have access to local tax dollars or bonds. Delays in starting construction, however, resulted in cost increases that have been especially high due to inflation and supply-chain issues. Those cost increases coupled with delayed opening dates eventually eroded the financial viability of the project.

“The new campus would have served an additional 1,125 students in grades K-8,” said Brian Myrup, Managing Director of YPA. “But we cannot put our existing K-12 campus with 1,660 students at risk by overextending our finances.”

Although the school has more than $3MM in sunk project costs, it remains in a very strong financial position due to reserve funds accumulated over the last 10 years.

The second campus was planned for the south side of Rock Hill in a proposed community called Kettlesong. The innovative, nature-oriented campus and curriculum were designed to leverage the outdoors as a central part of the learning experience. The school would have added 109 new teaching and education-related jobs to the area. YPA is one of the highest paying public schools in the state with first-year teacher compensation approaching $50,000.

Public charter schools are free to any SC student interested in attending. Funds for operation and construction come only from federal and state sources. If the number of applicants exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level or building, a lottery process will be used to determine enrollment. For more information regarding the enrollment process, please contact enrollment@yorkprepsc.org.