Charter school operator buys building

The board of Louisiana Connections Academy, an online charter school, has purchased an office building at 4664 Jamestown Ave. and plans to move its operations there.

The Friends of Louisiana Connections Academy Inc. paid $1.6 million for the Parkview Office Building near the intersection of College Drive and Interstate 10 in a deal that was filed with the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court’s Office Thursday. The sellers were Abdul and Maimoona Khan.

Wade Henderson III, who heads up the board of Louisiana Connections Academy, said the plan is to move the school’s operations from their current site on Goodwood Boulevard to the office building. The goal is to complete the move by the fall.

“There is more square footage there than we will need for the next five years,” Henderson said. Louisiana Connections will serve as a landlord for the other tenants in the building, which include the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana. A management company will be brought in to handle the day-to-day operations of the building.

“If it’s possible to own a building, you get a bit of income generation and that takes care of itself in terms of costs,” Henderson said.

The office building is about 80 percent occupied. Louisiana Connections Academy will take up the fourth floor of the building, which is about 8,000 square feet.

Although all of the classes at Louisiana Connections Academy are online, the school has about 60 employees, most of whom are teachers. And students and parents occasionally drop by the offices to turn in paperwork.

The school had been saving money to build its own offices, but the Jamestown location was a good fit, Henderson said. “It’s in a central location and it’s easy to find,” he said. “And the fact is, it’s a steel and concrete building. We could not build a building this stable for that amount of money.”

Louisiana Connections plans to put a sign on the building. That will enhance the schools sense of pride, Henderson said. “We think we will be more of a part of the community now that people can see us.”

Louisiana Connections Academy was founded in 2011. The school has 1,200 students statewide in grades kindergarten through 12.