WATERBURY – Hundreds of students and their families got their first glimpse of a new science and technology-focused magnetic college on the old Chase Collegiate campus on Wednesday, as the school’s new ACES de Chase held his first open house.
Area Cooperative Educational Services is moving its Thomas Edison Middle School program from Meriden to the campus of Chase Collegiate School, a private school that closed in 2019. The program is open to middle school students in any city.
“It’s such a beautiful campus and their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program is supposed to be amazing,” said Ashley Giambra of Thomaston. His daughter, Peighton, is a fifth grader at Waterbury’s Maloney Magnet School.
It’s a huge change of scenery.
In Meriden, Thomas Edison was in a 159,085 square foot building on a small property. Chase is a 12-building New England-style campus – most of them stately brick halls – set on 36 acres with park-like landscaping, a campus pond, and expansive athletic fields.
“I think it will be great because we will have a lot more space for activities,” said Iyanna Jones, 12, of Waterbury, a returning student of Thomas Edison. The move places the school five minutes from Jones’ home, as opposed to 30 minutes from the Meriden building.
But families returning from Meriden also say the trip will be worth it.
“It’s just beautiful,” said Suzan Barnett of Meriden. His 12-year-old daughter, Zanri, was enrolled in the program in Meriden. “It’s a little different from what we expected. This is the first time that we are visiting the campus. So it’s beautiful, just seeing how big it is and the different buildings they have for specific programs. That’s wonderful.”
Documents recording the sale of the Chase Parkway campus to ACES were filed with the Waterbury City Clerk on Tuesday. Parties to the deal announced its completion on Friday but did not disclose the sale price.
A $ 10 million ACES mortgage used to help finance the purchase was filed with the sales documents on Tuesday. The mortgage is granted by Key Government Finance Inc. and KeyBank National Association.
ACES executive director Thomas Danehy said the purchase price was over $ 10 million. ACES handed over that money and the extra money, he said. Danehy said he couldn’t reveal how much more without breaking a confidentiality agreement.
“We are delighted to have a home for the school,” said Danehy. “We’ve been working on this all year.
The former owner – York United – bought Chase Collegiate and its assets for $ 9.6 million in 2017, adding to a portfolio of private schools.
York defaulted on its loans and was sued by its lender. York settled a $ 390,392 tax debt with the city last week ahead of the sale.
ACES is funded by a state grant of $ 8,180 per student and a tuition fee of $ 5,939 per student paid by home cities.
Amy Stinton, a physical education teacher who has worked with Thomas Edison for 20 years, said she was thrilled to have room for the school’s track team. Wednesday was his first day on the Chase campus. Standing in his lodge, Stinton said his eyes were just as large as those of visiting families.
“Having so many amazing spaces to explore – outside of teaching spaces – the possibilities are endless,” Stinton said.
ACES at Chase is still accepting students for the upcoming year. Prospective students can obtain information and apply at aces.org/Chase.