ST. LOUIS - The building at 400 S. 18th Street will provide Atlas with the space it needs to grow into a K-5 elementary school. The building has been vacant for five years and previously served as office space for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It is in the heart of the Downtown West neighborhood, across the street from Union Station, roughly one mile from the school’s current location in Midtown. Construction to bring the building up to code and create 25 classrooms, a multipurpose room, and a playground is scheduled to end in August, just in time for the start of the 2023-2024 school year.
“This new location is exactly what we need to continue to grow, thrive, and be the best we possibly can be for our kids,” said Tierrus Nance, Atlas’ head of school.
Atlas is a public charter school that opened in the fall of 2021 inside the education building at Central Baptist, 2845 Washington Boulevard. It is the only elementary school in the city that operates on a year-round calendar. The school is built upon the belief that children learn best through authentic, hands-on experiences that are rooted in the context of St. Louis. This year, the school serves approximately 200 students in kindergarten, first, and second grades. The school will add one grade level a year through fifth grade.
Atlas is part of the momentum that’s bringing more opportunity and investment to the city, with the new soccer stadium, the revitalization of Union Station, and the Grand Center Arts District.
“We are so excited for the future of Atlas with this next move,” said Jermecia Starks, a parent of an Atlas first grader. “The Atlas team has made tremendous efforts in ensuring that our ‘little explorer’ and friends have opportunities to become immersed in St. Louis gems. Moving to such an incredible location near the aquarium and other places to explore – we can only imagine what is next for our scholars.”
“This is really exciting news!” said Bridget Preston, parent of an Atlas first grader. “From learning all the details about the location and space, I know it will be the best place for the school. We are excited to watch Atlas grow. Great job to the Atlas team for working so hard to make sure the staff and explorers have the best opportunities to succeed! I am so excited to see the school continue to flourish in its forever home.”