Today Kairos Academies and project developer UIC announced that the public charter school had entered into a contract to acquire property to relocate its high school campus. The 4.5 acre former Alligator Clothing factory, located at 4153 Bingham Avenue in the Bevo Mill neighborhood, had been vacant and was the subject of several lawsuits due to neglect.
"Our families deserve exceptional public high school options close to where they live. Finding a permanent home for all of our Kairos Academies High School students has been a top priority."
"Kairos has allowed my daughter to be in a diverse educational environment while being herself. We focused on selecting a school that will allow her creativity to flourish and provide a healthy social environment. She has thrived in her 9th grade year and watching her grow and love attending school daily is remarkable."
The proposed renovated facility, estimated to cost between $17m and $25m, could accommodate up to 600 students in grades 9-12. The current campus plan includes modern, flexible learning spaces as well as a full gymnasium, black box theater, and athletic field–which Kairos would open for community use. Kairos will utilize a mix of private and public financing to complete the project in accordance with national best practices. The project is targeted for completion during the 2024-25 school year when Kairos would move its existing 9-11 grade students to the campus.
“Our families deserve exceptional public high school options close to where they live. Finding a permanent home for all of our Kairos Academies High School students has been a top priority,” said Kairos Academies CEO Dr. Khalil Graham. “We’re excited to continue to explore this potential site so that we arrive at a final product that exceeds our families’ expectations and provides a useful asset for the neighborhood.”
“Kairos has allowed my daughter to be in a diverse educational environment while being herself. We focused on selecting a school that will allow her creativity to flourish and provide a healthy social environment. She has thrived in her 9th grade year and watching her grow and love attending school daily is remarkable,” said KAHS parent Jameila Moore. “Kairos was and is the best decision I made for my daughter’s high school education. A brand new facility means she will have the opportunity to participate in sports–they don’t have the space currently.”
Kairos has engaged with the Bevo Mill Neighborhood Association to incorporate community feedback and involvement on the project, including establishing a committee that will have input on site plan, parking, and traffic.
“The property has been in disrepair for well over 15 years. After many starts and stops with the prior owner, I’m happy to know that the property will be used and be useful for the broader community, said Alderwoman Carol Howard. “This is a legacy investment in the Bevo Mill Neighborhood. I’m looking forward to seeing Kairos continue to build strong relationships with the community to provide full educational services for students in the area.”
“The Bevo Mill Neighborhood Association and an affected neighbor have been in litigation over nuisance conditions of the Alligator Clothing Factory since 2020,” said Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative attorney Jim Bax of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri.
“This site has long been an eyesore and a source of frustration for the residents who live on that stretch of Bingham Avenue, and everyone is eager to see this matter resolved with the redevelopment of the site,” said David Tallent, President of the Bevo Mill Neighborhood Association.
Opened in 2019, Kairos Academies is a public charter school providing personalized learning for students in grades 5-12. Kairos empowers students to direct their own lives and learning through year-round project-based classes, one-on-one mentoring, and self-paced curriculum. Kairos was recognized as a 2022 PRiME Growth Award Winner by Saint Louis University's PRiME Center for beating the odds in student growth. Based on state MAP scores, Kairos ranks among the top four Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in St. Louis and is the highest performing LEA that serves over 50% students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch.
Contact: Stuart Murray, Director of Communications and Marketing