$50-million campaign will build Kam Memar Lower School, restore Pace Castle
Pace Academy has launched Accelerate Pace, a $50-million capital campaign to construct the Kam Memar Lower School and restore and renovate the school’s iconic “Castle” on West Paces Ferry Road.
Construction on the Kam Memar Lower School, a 36,500-square-foot addition to the school’s existing Lower School classroom building, began in January 2020. The building will open in August 2021. Work on the Castle will begin shortly thereafter.
Diana and Bijon Memar, current Pace Academy parents, contributed Accelerate Pace’s lead gift in memory of Bijon’s late brother, Kam Memar, founder of Medac. Sadly, Kam Memar was killed in a car accident before he could see the company achieve its current success.
“Kam was very loyal, honest and giving,” said Bijon Memar. “He maintained a positive outlook on life and believed that taking care of family was of primary importance. We want to keep Kam’s name and legacy alive, and we believe that he would have shared our passion for Pace, its nurturing environment and its mission to create prepared, confident citizens of the world.”
Conceived by tvsdesign and residential designer William T. Baker, the three-story Kam Memar Lower School will accommodate Pace Academy’s growing program and curriculum needs while ensuring safety, security and accessibility. The building will include classrooms for STEAM and design; an expanded Academic Resource Center; soundproof spaces for music and strings programs; administrative offices and large meeting rooms; and an indoor gymnasium. In addition, Pace Academy will renovate spaces within its Lower School classroom building, including the cafeteria and library.
Planning is in the early stages for the restoration and renovation of the Castle, the former home, constructed in 1941, that served as the school’s original classroom building in 1958. Accelerate Pace will modernize the aging structure’s interior spaces while preserving its iconic facade and will accommodate academic endeavors in spaces specifically designed for robotics and STEAM programs.
“Pace students embrace academic challenge, curiosity and joy—and they deserve a school home that does the same,” said Pace Academy Head of School Fred Assaf. “The Kam Memar Lower School and subsequent updates to the Castle will create spaces where innovative instruction, creative exploration and the sense of family that defines the Pace experience thrive.”
Board of Trustees Chair Elizabeth Correll Richards invited Pace parents Amy and Ronnie Agami, Taylor and Ronnie Brown, and Allyson and Jim Maske to co-chair the Accelerate Pace campaign committee. The committee is comprised of current parents and parents of alumni, grandparents, alumni, and faculty and staff.
The school has obtained approval from the City of Atlanta for special zoning needs associated with the Kam Memar Lower School. In obtaining these approvals, Pace Academy worked closely with its neighbors, both individually and through the W. Paces/Northside Neighborhood Association and Neighborhood Planning Unit-A. In addition, the school received approval from the City’s Board of Zoning Adjustment, Zoning Review Board, City Council Zoning Committee and the full City Council.