Author Archives: Mary Bickerstaff

Albany State University

Congratulations to Albany State University, this week’s Albany Area Chamber Star Business. Albany State is a regional university that offers certificates, associates, bachelors, masters and educational specialist degrees. They are the largest historically black college in the state of Georgia and have been in the educating business since 1903. To learn more about this educational institution visit

Collegiate Academy of Albany acquires the former Georgia National Guard Armory facility

Albany, Georgia (November 7, 2019): New Schools Georgia, Inc. (“NSG”), a non-profit founded by Albany natives Teresa and Allen Hughes, received the green light yesterday from the Dougherty County Board of Commissioners to acquire the former Georgia National Guard Armory facility and 18 acres located at 1500 N. Monroe Street and 409 Eighth Avenue in Albany, for $300,000. Once the purchase in completed in early January 2020, NSG will invest nearly $5 million to renovate existing buildings and build new classrooms, as well as develop a playground and athletic fields for soccer, baseball and softball, transforming the property into the permanent home of Collegiate Academy of Albany (“CAA”), a new, independent, tuition-free, public charter school, serving families in Albany, Dougherty and Lee counties and all of Southwest Georgia. With an ultimate mission of preparing students to succeed in college and career, CAA will open in August 2020 with up to 376 students in grades K-3 on a first-come, first-served basis with no admissions testing. The school will add one grade per year until it reaches a capacity of 1,450 students in grades K-12. Even before announcement of a site, over 100 students have already applied to attend the school. With a statewide attendance zone, CAA expects demand to exceed seats available; if so, enrollment will be conducted through a public lottery to be held in March 2020. Mr. and Mrs. Hughes founded CAA to provide additional high-quality educational options to families in their hometown and throughout the area. In announcing the agreement, Mr. Hughes, chairman of CAA’s Board, said, “we are grateful to the County Board of Commissioners for their decision to sell the Armory property to the charter school, demonstrating their desire to attract high quality educational options for area families, which in turn makes the Dougherty County area more attractive for business investment.” CAA will be part of the SABIS® Network, a global network of schools that are backed by a 134-year old tradition of educational excellence, serving 70,000 students in 20 countries. Schools in the SABIS® Network implement an integrated, comprehensive K-12 program that uses dynamic materials, proven methods, and cutting-edge technology to deliver superior results.

Draft rendering of the proposed Collegiate Academy of Albany’s use of the Armory property. For enrollment information, interested families can contact CAA’s marketing office:
Ms. Kayla Solomon, (229) 349-6115, or visit the School’s Website: Press only:
New Schools Georgia, Inc., contact Glenn Delk at (404) 626-1400, SABIS® Educational Systems, Inc., contact Jose Afonso at (617) 515-6638, SABIS® Website:

The Home Builders Association of Albany and Southwest Georgia,

Congratulations to The Home Builders Association of Albany and Southwest Georgia, this week’s Albany Area Chamber Star Business. This non-profit trade organization is dedicated to creating, promoting, and protecting an ongoing successful environment for affordable housing. They are comprised of builders, tradespeople, suppliers and lenders. They also interact with construction classes in the school system to help develop educational opportunities and training in the building industry.

Phoebe Hospice

Congratulations to Phoebe Hospice, this week’s Albany Area Chamber Star Business. Phoebe Hospice provides care to patients that are terminally ill, providing a holistic, team approach. A skilled team of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, chaplains, volunteers, certified nursing assistants and bereavement social workers are responsible for the patient’s overall care which includes medications, supplies and medical equipment.  The Willson Hospice House is nestled in the woods and offers comfort and peace to Phoebe Hospice patients needing a respite stay or short-term inpatient care.