Tenacious academy not lame in support

By Johnny Jackson

The Lewis Academy of Excellence in Riverdale will not open this week, but founder Patricia Lewis is hopeful the school will open soon.

Monday morning, Lewis took Superintendent Barbara Pulliam around the Riverdale First United Methodist Church campus. That afternoon, Lewis met with Riverdale officials about those final steps to obtain permanent and temporary Certificates of Occupancy from the fire marshal.

The school recently installed its fire alarm system. Though, the system was struck by lightening last Tuesday, the system now works well, Lewis said.

The wooded hillside school yard reeks of pine and cedar. Tall young pine trees consume the school, where newly built treated-cedar ramps scale up to its brick frame.

Lewis referred to modulars at the back of the property as learning cottages. Cream colored and trimmed in brown, they too have cedar stairs and balconies. Windows there are already decorated with school themes and cartoon characters. Instructors are ready, she said earlier this summer.

She said the school is preparing to contract a fire protection systems company this week.

"We're so close; we're so close," Lewis said. "The board is working with us. We're intending to open, and we want the parents to keep the faith."

Those involved in stories-passed abstain from making speculations about the charter school's opening now as the issue surrounds the Certificate of Occupancy.

Lewis said she would speak more to the point on going forward in opening the school when the school has its Certificate of Occupancy.

And the county will patiently wait to comment officially on the school's opening, said Charles White, spokesman for Clayton County Schools.

As far as dress for the school, girls will wear plaid jumpers or skirts and boys will wear black slacks with appropriate accessories. And tops are white or royal blue, Lewis said.

"Our school motto is 'Inspiring Future World Leaders'," she said, remarking about the school's grandiose colors, royal blue and gold.