Planning Commission OKs location for new Natchez charter school

Published 9:57 am Friday, February 17, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The Natchez Planning Commission paved the way for the approval of a location for one of the state’s newest charter schools, which plans to open this fall in Natchez.

The members of the commission voted unanimously to approve the rezoning of the Christian Hope Baptist Church, 301 LaSalle St., from R-1 residential to a Special Use District. Schools are allowed to locate in special use districts, which will allow the church to lease a building on the property to Instant Impact Global Prep Charter School.

Dr. JoAnn Rucker

The Natchez Board of Aldermen still must approve the move.

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In Sept. 26, 2022, Dr. JoAnn Rucker, a 1985 South Natchez-Adams High School graduate, learned her proposal for a charter school in Natchez had been approved, one of only a handful in the state and the first for Natchez.

Instant Impact Global Prep will eventually educate students from kindergarten through eighth-grade. However, during its first year of operation, Rucker said the school would accept kindergarten through second grade students.

The planning commission determined the 1.4 acre property, on which sits a sanctuary building and another multi-purpose building, where the school will locate, has ample room for off street parking on the LaSalle side of the property and in the back of the property. It also has room for buses to load and off-load students.

The church and the school plan to enter into a four-year lease agreement, with the school having and option to renew that lease for an additional two years.

In other business, the planning commission:

• approved an application by Kathryn McCabe, 324 Clifton Ave., to subdivide property at that location to straighten a lot line.

• approved a special exception for Perri Cole Llewellyn, 621 N. Wall St., to allow for a guest house.

• approved a special exception for Thomas E. Cole Jr., 625 N. Wall St., to allow for a guest house.