Episcopal Collegiate School released today its expected plans to build a lower school (pre-K-5) adjacent to the existing upper school . It will open in August 2009. Announced, too, was the headmaster, Steve Hickman, who’s been at Heathwood Hall in South Carolina.

If I read the map correctly, the school will be built where the baseball field now sits. The good news for bikers is that it will be down the hill from Cantrell Road. This should leave room between the school and the highway to work out right of way issues for the riverfront bike trail, which currently traverses a somewhat problematic path past the school.

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The new school adds to competition for kids at that grade level. The Cathedral School, with similar Episcopal Church-related roots, continues to remain independent and draw from that age group. The eStem Charter School planned for Third and Louisiana also plans a school for lower grades. The charter school, with an announced ambitious curriculum including Mandarin and Latin, will be free, however.

UPDATE: I should have said that bruised feelings remain among Trinity Episcopal Cathedral parishioners over the collegiate school. The church’s blessing was necessary for its creation. Some feared its impact on public schools. Some feared its eventual impact on the Cathedral School. The latter fear has certainly been realized. Check the jump for a recent letter that has gone to parishioners. If it does not directly address the Collegiate competition, it is of course related.

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