Article published on August 15, 2012 by the Town Square Buzz. The Imagine International Academy of North Texas, a public tuition-free charter school opening this fall, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, Aug. 13 to mark the completion of its new school building located at 2860 Virginia Parkway, McKinney, Texas. The Academy, which recently obtained approval from the International Baccalaureate Organization to be a candidate school* for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), and Diploma Programme (DP), is pursuing authorization as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy – a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that the Imagine International Academy of North Texas believes is important for its students. The new 62,000 square foot facility was designed by HKS Architects and constructed by UEB Builders, under the ownership of Dallas-based property developer Donald Gaskins. With a contemporary modern design which provides natural light in every classroom and environmentally-friendly energy and water conserving features, the building has received accolades from those who have toured it. In attendance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were State Representative Ken Paxton, McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller, Imagine Schools founders Dennis and Eileen Bakke, Texas Charter Schools Association Executive Director David Dunn, Texas IB Schools Executive Director Karen Phillips, along with several members of the Imagine Schools senior leadership team. State Representative Paxton presented the school with a state flag flown over the Texas Capitol, and congratulated all the families present for their perseverance in seeing the Academy come to fruition and providing the community with additional parent choice in education. McKinney Mayor Loughmiller stated that educational opportunities such as the Academy serve to strengthen McKinney’s position as one of the top cities in America, and added that he was looking forward to helping students learn about city government in the near future. Imagine Schools founder and CEO, Dennis Bakke, spoke of the organization’s mission to help parents educate their children, and the Academy’s commitment to ensuring strong academic success for all of its students. Mayor Loughmiller, accompanied by many of the Academy’s future students, cut the ceremonial red ribbon to commemorate the long-awaited opening of the Imagine International Academy of North Texas. The Academy will open its doors on August 27th, 2012 to serve students in grades K-9 for the 2012-2013 school year. ### *Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), or the Diploma Programme (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org. The Imagine International Academy of North Texas is a public tuition-free charter school in McKinney, Texas, operated by Imagine Schools, offering an academically rigorous college preparatory curriculum. The Academy will open on August 27th, serving students in grades K-9, and will add one grade each year to become a K-12 school. For more information, visitwww.imaginenorthtexas.org.