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Success Stories

New School to Serve Nearly 550 Students

Stephanie Bittiker
Community Facilities
East Point Academy

Rural Development funds were used to purchase and renovate an existing school facility and for expansion of the Elementary School’s campus. An existing building, on Leaphart Street, was purchased and repurposed as the Middle School campus for grades 6th through 8th. Facility improvements consisted of: moving walls to restore the cafeteria, upgrades to kitchen equipment, reorganization of classrooms, bathrooms, refinishing the gym floor and upgrading technology, mechanical and electrical systems. Funds were also used to purchase approximately 17.44 acres of land on Chris Drive, the location of the Elementary School campus for grades Pre-K through 5th grade. The additions to the campus included space for: administration, new media center, classrooms, gymnasium, cafeteria, kitchen, storage, restrooms, mechanical spaces, parking areas, play fields, open spaces, landscaping, security fencing and site lighting.

East Point Academy (EPA) is South Carolina's only school-wide Chinese Language immersion school. Students follow all learning standards of students in English only elementary schools while learning to speak, write and understand Mandarin through language immersion classes in math, science and Mandarin Language Arts. Students learn Chinese culture through integration in related arts classes, including Chinese Cultural Arts and Chinese Dance and Movement. Approximately half of the staff members are native speakers of Mandarin.  EPA serves nearly 550 students in 4-year-old preschool through 8th grade.

EPA's instructional program includes aspects of Montessori, differentiation, character development, community service, project-based learning, world language study, inquiry learning and ecology.  EPA has a full extra curricula program including homework assistance, Odyssey of the Mind, Math Kangaroo, Unlimited Hands on Science, martial arts, gymnastics, music, dance, piano, show choir, guitar and Lego League. Also, clubs and sports include Green Team, Outdoor Learning Initiative, Student Government, Chinese Calligraphy, Ping Pong, Badminton, Running Club, Soccer and Basketball. MAP scores for all grades in math and reading are consistently above national norms.


Additional information about the USDA Community Facilities Loan program is available online at https://www.rd.usda.gov/sc

To see if you might qualify, please contact your local servicing Area Office at:  https://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices/sc.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. 

Obligation Amount:
$24,400,000 (Direct) + $5,000,000 (Guaranteed)
Year(s) of Obligation:
Congressional District:
02