First day of school - again - for charter school in Clayton Co. - CBS46 News

First day of school - again - for charter school in Clayton County

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RIVERDALE, GA (CBS46) -

Utopian Academy for the Arts welcomed students and teachers to classes Thursday after last-minute building inspections mandated by the City of Riverdale postponed the start of school for ten days.

It was the third time in recent days that students woke up and got dressed for their first day of school. Twice this month, 200 students have shown up at Utopian Academy for the Arts in Riverdale. Both prior times, they were turned away.

"We are good to go. The campus is ready to welcome students, parents, and staff for classes," said Artesius Miller, executive director and founder of Utopian Academy for the Arts. "We are ready to focus on teaching and learning."

Supporters blamed the delays on "red tape" that they said was an attempt to bully the school into closing.

On Aug. 4, students couldn't get in the building because the school did not have a business license. Then, a week later on Aug. 11, students had to go home because there was an issue over who had the rights to the lease agreement and because problems were found during an initial inspection.

Riverdale's fire marshal told CBS46 News that he warned the principal not to open the school but that the principal did so anyway.

Later that day, a Clayton County judge ordered the city to complete an inspection of the school. A message posted Wednesday night on Utopian Academy's website said that the school would open at 8 a.m. Thursday.

According to a news release issued by the school, "Utopian Academy was denied the right to exist by the Clayton County School board in 2011, 2012, and 2013 when the district rejected its charter application. The local denial was over-ruled by the state, last October. The Georgia Charter Schools Commission granted Utopian Academy state authority to serve kids for five years as a state charter school."

School officials will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. to share information about new problems created by the delay.

Check back with www.CBS46.com for updates.

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