Preston Development breaks ground for new YMCA, Thales Academy

mhankerson@newsobserver.comJune 10, 2014 

— Community leaders celebrated the beginning of Knightdale’s largest subdivision last Wednesday when Cary-based developers, Preston Development, broke ground on major amenties at the new Knightdale Station.

“The idea of the investment that is Knightdale Station and the destination it’s becoming, which is much broader than the park, is something we’ve dreamed about,” said Mayor Russell Killen.

The multi-year, multi-use development will ultimately have 810 single-family homes and townhomes, a YMCA facility and a private school, Thales Academy.

The YMCA Aquatics Center is scheduled to open on Memorial Day of next year and Thales Academy will open toward the end of next year, although families can apply for their students to attend at any time.

Right now, Thales has entered a contract with Preston Development for the land, but the purchase is not complete, Preston Vice President of Finance, Thad Moore said.

Preston Development has worked a future Thales Academy high school building into Knightdale Station’s plans, although there are no final locations picked out on the property.

For the slated opening next year, Thales will only offer an elementary school.

Kent Misgedes, director of development for Thales said there are about two dozen students from the eastern part of the county who attend Thales Academy in Raleigh and they will have the option to move to the Knightdale location once it’s complete.

According to Midsgedes, the school will offer an alternative school option parents in Knightdale have been looking for.

Bob Luddy, the founder of Thales, noted one difference between Thales and other schools: In sixth grade, he said, students can expect to begin working in the classics, learning Latin and reading classic literature.

“They learn to be good thinkers,” he said. “The endgame for education is thinking, which is often overlooked (because of) standardized testing.”

Thales will work with the Knightdale Station YMCA, which will provide day camps for students during breaks, McMillan said.

The YMCA will take up about eight acres of the total 300 acres that make up Knightdale Station. It’s first phase of construction will include establishing programming, like sports and summer day camps that will debut the same time as the aquatics center.

From there, what the YMCA will offer will depend on the community’s needs and be driven by an advisory board, said YMCA of the Triangle’s Chief Executive Officer, Doug McMillan.

In addition to amenities, the first residential phase of the development began in March, beginning construction on less than 200 homes. The homes will be priced in the mid-250s.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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