Lewis House at Kennesaw

April 27, 2018

This historically registered home of J.G. Lewis, a former mayor and community pillar in the early 1900s will be the landmark that comes alive in our newest development launching now. Idyllically set amidst lush surroundings in the heart of Kennesaw. Boasting beautifully updated craftsman-style architecture with bygone Victorian-era charm. Proudly bearing a name rooted in history, Lewis House brings to you a deeply authentic, rich and Southern lifestyle like nowhere else. Complete with all the modern amenities and creature comforts you need. 

Just 35 minutes from Atlanta in thriving North-Central Cobb County. Between the streets of Dallas and Main on a gorgeous parcel of history. And just a short walk from renowned Downtown Kennesaw, Lewis House offers a location full of breathless beauty and endless opportunity. Marvel at the area's wondrous wisteria and picturesque landscapes. Take part in all the outdoor sports and fun to be had at nearby Adams Park. Stroll and shop the ageless cobblestones of downtown with friends and loved ones. 

Every square inch has been designed and crafted with you in mind. Resort-worthy features that pamper and delight you. Inspired by the past and perfected for today, you will find yourself loving where you live. 

Please follow us on our social platforms for updates and stay tuned for our project kickoff celebration coming up soon! 

Polaris Tech developer finalizes land purchase for new state charter school in Ridgeland

November 17, 2017

Polaris Tech Charter School's facility developer, True North Companies LLC, today finalized
purchase of the five and a half-acre property where the new state charter school will be built.

With the purchase complete, permits are being secured to begin demolition of the former hospital building. Once demolition is done and the site is prepped, construction of the approximate
28,000-square foot building will begin. Completion is expected next summer in time for Polaris
Tech's mid-August opening.

Student applications will be available online in mid-December. Polaris Tech will enroll up to 250 students in grades 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 for the coming school year. It will then add 11th grade in 2019 and 12th grade in 2020.

We are happy that the property purchase is done and Polaris Tech is one step closer to rising up to help the young people of Jasper County and the Lowcountry," said retired Air Force Gen. Lloyd "Fig" Newton, a Jasper native and one of the founders of Polaris Tech.

True North Companies, based in Roswell, Ga., is familiar with South Carolina's regulations and permitting requirements for K-12 schools as they are building charter schools across South Carolina.

Walt Gill, president of True North, said today's property closing opens the door for more visible improvements to the property. "Step by step, we are going to help Polaris Tech build a charter school that is shaped by what will happen inside the walls to boost student achievement," he said.

Even as the developer closed on the property, Polaris Tech organizers are seeking an Executive Director to lead the school and prepare for the August opening. Applications for the job are being accepted and details are available at www.polaristech.org.

The executive director will work closely with the board on matters such as hiring staff, finalizing curriculum, reviewing documents such as student and employee handbooks, and adding input to the school facility construction.

William Singleton, former superintendent of Jasper County Schools and a founding member of Polaris Tech, said "I am amazed each week at how much progress this school is making. The community and especially the young people of Jasper County are going to find an exciting new place to learn and prepare for their future."

The Polaris Tech academic emphasis will be on six career areas: Aerospace, health science, information technology, logistics, advanced manufacturing, and business management. Applications start in mid-December and will close March 31, 2018.

"Every week brings new excitement to this project," said Sandra Chavez, chair of the Polaris Tech Planning Committee. "To close the purchase on the land at the same time our developer is finalizing design plans, and to be actively advertising for our Executive Director to help us prepare for our August opening, it's just an amazing time."

Polaris Tech is a state-approved charter school to serve middle and high school students from Jasper County and the Lowcountry. It is a free school (no tuition), that will focus on preparing young people for successful work.

To keep updated about Polaris Tech Charter School, follow them on Facebook and at www.polaristech.org.
















Baconton Community Charter named School of the Year Finalist

March 9, 2017

The Georgia Charter School Association has named their finalists for 2017 Charter School of the Year.  The charter school selected for the top honor will receive $50,000 for their school thanks to a grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation.  One of the finalists selected is Baconton Community Charter School, a school True North Companies had the opportunity to serve in building their current campus.

Baconton Community Charter School exemplifies the pioneer spirit.  As one of the longest existing start-up charter schools in Georgia, the school’s groundbreaking experiences paved the way for the many charter schools that have followed. 


BCCS serves an educationally disadvantaged population in rural southwest Georgia of approximately 850 students in prekindergarten through twelfth grades.  The school has demonstrated fiscal responsibility, significant enrollment growth, consistently high academic achievement, and notable athletic accomplishments in its seventeen years. 


The elementary Direct Instruction reading curriculum develops strong foundational skills, and the school wide adoption of Eureka Math is proving successful, as well. With more than 30 semester hours of college coursework offered on the school’s campus, half of the Class of 2016 earned credits through Move on When Ready, and the program is poised for even greater reach in 2017 and beyond. 

SAIL Breaks Ground in Columbia County

March 4, 2017


See story and video HERE

The onsite work begins for Columbia county's first charter school Saturday. The school has a tight five month deadline to finish building since Columbia county's first day of school is August 7th.


The construction company specializes in charter schools and says they have done fast track projects like this before.


"This is our 10th charter school so we do have extensive experience working with the uniqueness of charter schools" said Walt Gill, President of True North Companies.


"This will be a fast track job we worked with our design groups and contractors to try to work through things that could be done off site to speed up the process."


The school will feature small classrooms and modern infrastructure.


"We were looking to design a school that's both creative and a smaller scale school that allows children to feel the small nature that sail looks to embody" said Ed Setzler, Project Manager for Croft & Associates Architecture.


Parents say the unique education is the reason they want their kids to get in.

"Even though my son is on the waiting list, I'm one of those parents who are just hoping that my son can get an opportunity to experience this type of education" said Lenore Powers.


The school is set to open in August 2017.

Pataula Charter School Groundbreaking Ceremony

September 16, 2016

On Friday, September 16, Pataula Charter Academy broke ground on its new campus in Edison. 

Those gathering for the ceremony included: State Charter Schools Commission Vice-Chair Paul Williams, State Charter Schools Commission member James Hogg, State Charter Schools Commission Member Tony Lowden; Pataula Charter Academy board members Tiffany Bruner (Chairman), Melissa Tabb (Vice Chairman), Jennifer Sanders (Secretary), Rhonda Collins (Treasurer), David Hendrickson, Walt Killingsworth and Tom Smith; Pataula Superintendent Kylie Holley, Pataula CFO Cheryl Weathersby, Pataula Principal Jim Morrell and Assistant Principal Stacy Brown; Georgia Charter Schools Association President and CEO Tony Roberts and GCSA Vice President of School Services Elisa Falco. Parents, teachers and community members were also in attendance.


"We are extremely excited about continuing to break new ground and build the future," said Pataula Charter Academy CFO Cheryl Weathersby. "We are very eager to start construction on a  facility that will complement our school's academic excellence."

GCSA President and CEO Tony Roberts (pictured speaking on the left) praised Pataula Charter Academy superintendent Kylie Holley. He told those who gathered at the groundbreaking that Pataula has achieved high academic success not just among charter schools but all schools. 


The groundbreaking comes shortly after the state commissioned charter school received a $14 million Community Facility Direct Loan for the new school facility and multi-purpose building. Pataula Charter Academy serves more than 400 students in grades K-12 in Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Early and Randolph counties. The new facility will be located behind Pataula's existing campus.


The construction team for the project includes: True North Companies (project manager), CGM Construction Group (general contractor) and IPG Architects (architect).  [Georgia Charter Schools Association]

True North presents at GCSA Facilities Workshop

September 13, 2016

On Tuesday, September 13, it was standing room only during a charter school facilities workshop hosted by Georgia Charter Schools Association and sponsored by Colliers International, Dentons and True North Companies. True North was represented by Charter School Support Director John Joye (far left in photo), Finance Director Chip Harp (sixth from left in photo), Legal Director Amy Reese (fourth from right), Development Project Manager Tom Draffin (third from right), Santiago Iturralde (second from right), and Charter School Program Manager Derrick Robinson (far right).

Petitioners, school leaders and others attending the workshop at the Atlanta offices of Colliers International were told how to navigate the facilities process and get site approval from the Georgia Department of Education, various options for charter school financing, how much schools can afford to borrow and how to determine whether a charter school is ready to access the bond market.


"Charter schools should get started quickly," said Tom Draffin, Director of Development for True North Companies. "The only way to become investible is to prepare yourselves and prepare your financial position so that banks and financial institutions and bonds will be available to you."


Draffin recommends charter schools start thinking about facility financing and other facility requirements at least six months ahead of submitting the final draft of their petition. He said True North believes in the charter school model and partners with boards of charter schools to assist them with facility needs and ensure they are financially secure.


"Charter schools now have options. It's not just always you have to take whatever is available right around the corner," said Colliers International Vice President Josh Gregory. "There are people who want to finance these deals, there are people who want to lease space to charter schools and there are people who want to help out charter schools all over the country, so we are working daily to bring those to the state of Georgia and clients all over the country."


According to Dentons and Raymond James, facilities costs should be no more than 20 percent of a school's budget, and 12 to 15 percent is preferable.  [Georgia Charter School Association]

Brookhaven Innovation Academy opens Temporary Facility

August 2, 2016

True North is pleased to have the opportunity to assist Brookhaven Innovation Academy in opening their temporary home in Metro Atlanta.

The school opens its doors to students this week at their temporary home in Norcross, just off Peachtree Industrial Blvd.  The school is working to eventually move into a permanent location to better serve these students.


The True North team wishes the school, students, staff, and faculty all the best as they welcome students for the first time! Congratulations to school leader Dr. Laurie Kimbrel and Board Chair Jennifer Langley, plus all those involved with this massive endeavor.

ACE Macon initiates Third Phase of School Growth

March 18, 2016

The Academy of Classical Education (ACE) continues to grow, providing educational options for school children in Macon, Georgia.  True North has worked with the board and staff at ACE to provide development services, construction, financing, and redevelopment of their campus on New Forsyth Road.


The initial phase consisted of the renovation and develop of two buildings of 20,000 and 138,000 square feet located on 38 acres.  The initial phase was completed in August of 2014 hosting 740 students.


As the school continues to grow (their were 1,300 applications for the initial 760 seats available) future phases have been planned and completed, including  Phase II (August 2015) and athletic fields.


Now ACE has initated, working with True North, a third phase of campus growth.  This included expanded science and technology capacity, courier space, and multi-purpose rooms.  This phase will also include a new High School entrance as part of the near 45,000 square foot expansion.

What makes some Charter Schools succeed where others don't?

February 18, 2016

WMAZ | Macon


Charter schools offer a free alternative to public education paid for through local tax dollars.


In the last five years, nearly 60 charter schools opened across Georgia. In that same time period, 25 charter schools closed.


This fall, organizers hope to open one Byron, and two more want approval in Bibb. That prompted 13WMAZ to take a look at what separates the charter schools that pass from those that fail.


Click the image to see the full story.

Charter Schools and the Facility Dilemma

March 9, 2015

There are many issues which Charter Schools face outside of the classroom. Though educating parents as to what a charter school means is very important, other pressing issues face administrators and organizers.  One such concern is where to house the school.


True North works in this arena for Charter Schooladministrators in the Southeast, but other areas are facing similar challenges in housing the demand for Charter Schools.


The article noted below shares the problems faced by Charter Schools in Kansas City and St. Louis.



Charter Schools and Ed Reform Lunch and Learn- Valdosta

December 3, 2014

Join GCSA's RaShaun Holliman and Students First Georgia's Irene Turner to discuss what charter schools and ed reform efforts can offer a community such as Valdosta.  Now is your chance to have all your questions answered.


Friday December 5, 2014 12pm-1pm at Buffalo Wild Wings 1533 Baytree Road Valdosta, GA 31602....Lunch is on us!




How are charter schools funded?

November 5, 2014

As public schools, charter schools are tuition-free. They are funded according to enrollment levels and receive public funds on a per pupil basis.


In some states, such as Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, and New Jersey, they receive less than 100% of the funds allocated to their traditional counterparts for school operations. In other states, such as California, additional funds or loans are made available to them. In most states, charters do not receive capital funds to support facility expenses.


Charter schools are entitled to federal categorical funding for which their students are eligible, such as Title I and Special Education monies. Federal legislation provides grants to help charters to manage start-up costs.

What is the difference between a charter school and a magnet or theme school?

November 3, 2014

A magnet or theme school is typically a school within a local school district that offers a certain instructional program. Many magnet or theme schools may have admissions criteria such as: test scores; teacher recommendations; or grades. Charter schools operate independently from the local district, and they are not allowed to have admissions criteria. For example, a charter school cannot require students to pass a test or have a certain grade point average in order to be admitted.


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