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A new school year, a new look for Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy

Sandtown-Winchester wins makeover from Under Armour and Heart of America

(Baltimore, MD)—Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy, a new school created with the merger of students from William Pinderhughes Elementary/Middle School and Gilmor Elementary School, will have a new look at the beginning of the school year. Under Armour and Heart of America selected Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy for a major building makeover in September. Under Armour’s selection of the Sandtown-Winchester building is an exciting addition to the company’s city-wide commitment to provide funding to upgrade Baltimore City Schools’ athletic and academic facilities, and outfit over 500 coaches and 5,300 student-athletes with state-of-the-art uniforms and provide leadership development opportunities for student-athletes. 

In Fall 2017, the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners voted to close one of two schools – Gilmor or Pinderhughes – in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood and engage the community in creating one combined elementary/middle school. In January 2019, following extensive community input, the Board voted to close Gilmor and create this combined school with Pre-K to Grade 8 serving the Sandtown-Winchester community. The school will be housed in the William Pinderhughes school building. Students at both schools gave input into the new school’s name.

The Sandtown-Winchester makeover includes redesigned and renovated spaces facilitated through national nonprofit Heart of America and largely completed through the work of more than a thousand employee volunteers from Under Armour. The program is made possible through a $250,000 grant from Under Armour. The title grant was made through UA in order to inspire others to join the effort and momentum supporting via dollars, pro bono talent and/or additional product.

“It’s an exciting time for the entire Sandtown-Winchester community. Our students and staff will be starting the year in a brighter, updated space, building a stronger community and bringing students and staff together,” said CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises, Baltimore City Public Schools. “The space where our students learn matters, and I’m thankful to these great partners for making a major investment in this community and our students’ futures.” 

During Under Armour’s Week of Will in September, the school will be transformed as spaces throughout the building are painted, renovated, and redesigned. Under Armour teammates will provide their time and talent towards the school transformation along with the school community. Stacey Ullrich, spokesperson for Under Armour, said, “For Under Armour, Week of Will and our partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools goes much deeper than facility renovations. It’s designed to affect change and is aimed at breaking down the barriers that stand between youth and reaching their full potential.” 

"When more than a thousand community volunteers gather to make a difference, the result is so much more than the makeover itself,” said Jill Heath, President and CEO of The Heart of America Foundation. “It shows students that they are surrounded by people who so deeply believe in them. It’s powerful to witness such collaboration, where public and private partners joining together to make a lasting impact at this school.”

Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy will be the seventh Baltimore City Public School to receive a building makeover from Under Armour and Heart of America since 2016.