Revive Collegiate’s Journey to Expansion

Revive Collegiate is home to K-3 scholars in Jackson, MS. Since its establishment in 2022, Revive Collegiate has continued to aim to ensure every scholar is on the path to college from the moment they step foot in our building.

Story by: Trey Vernaci

The decision to purchase, renovate, and expand our Revive Collegiate building was inspired by our commitment to providing a superior educational environment and accommodating the growing needs of our scholar population. 

The renovation project began in 2021, and by the summer of 2022, the first phase was completed just in time to welcome our founding group of kindergarten and first-grade scholars. Our primary goals behind this renovation are to create an excellent building that provides adequate classroom space for core instruction, along with dedicated elective spaces that allow our scholars to engage with their interests. Additionally, we aim to provide ample space for our teachers and leaders to engage in meaningful planning on behalf of our scholars. 

The renovation project encompasses the entire building. The first phase included classrooms for grades K-2, elective spaces, a gym, a cafeteria, a kitchen, offices, and conference rooms. The second phase includes adding classrooms for 3rd and 4th grades with additional offices and a conference room. In total, the building will accommodate grades K-4 and be able to support up to 600 scholars. 

Led by our Senior Director of Operations, Trey Vernaci, with support from our Director of School Operations Services, Kemi Alara, the project was meticulously planned and executed in collaboration with the school leadership team. The team worked together to ensure that the new spaces would meet the diverse needs of our scholars and staff, creating an excellent learning facility. The architectural firm that helped us with the design concept was Dean and Dean Associates, and the construction was carried out by Carraway Construction, who has been incredibly helpful and mission-aligned throughout the project. 

Our vision of excellence for the school’s facilities includes spaces that inspire awe and wonder, far exceeding the expectations for an urban public school. The renovated building communicates what we care about, centering on the scholar experience. We have made the needs of diverse learners a priority in designing spaces, as well as in choosing and buying furniture and technology. Scholars have had opportunities to co-create the space with our staff, ensuring it meets their needs and aspirations. Images of scholars and artifacts of their learning are displayed with reverence and prominence, creating an environment that celebrates their achievements. 

As you walk through our halls, you will see pictures of kids and inspiring quotes, with college flags hanging throughout the building, reinforcing our commitment to higher education and aspirational goals for our scholars. Our spaces are designed to provide clear access to resources that will heighten experiences and promote outcomes that will transform the lives of our scholars and the community. 

The dedicated elective spaces for art, computer science, and physical education are key components of our commitment to a holistic educational experience, and we envision these spaces will significantly impact student engagement, collaboration, and academic achievement. The dedicated classroom and elective spaces foster a more engaging and interactive learning environment. We will encourage our students to participate in their education and explore their interests actively. Our gym and cafeteria are for more than lunch and PE. These facilities provide additional opportunities for students to collaborate and build strong relationships. 

Overall, the enhanced facilities will support higher academic achievement by creating a supportive and stimulating environment for students and staff. The building was previously a church that served the local community and has been transformed into a space that continues to serve as a community anchor as another public education option. While we are not a church, we believe we are carrying on the legacy of providing an important space for the community. The design of the building reflects the identities and aspirations of our scholars and our organization, embodying our mission to operate schools anchored in love, achievement, and anti-racism. 

Thank you to every teacher, student, parent, and local organization who contributed to this vision of ensuring that the space would be a source of pride for our community and a reflection of our collective goals and values.