MRA was established in 1969 for the purpose of providing the communities of Madison and Ridgeland with the opportunity to enroll their children in an independent school offering both academic achievement and character development. Originally housed in a Madison church, the school grew quickly, with forty-seven families enrolling 117 students the first year. In 1970, the first school facility was built.
The original physical plant of MRA was constructed largely by the patrons themselves, and the Christian spirit of these individuals permeates much of the school’s philosophy, which in part states the following: (1) that families should, through orderly representative procedures, have a voice in their children’s destiny; (2) that the parents or legal guardians, not the State, should determine what is best for their children; (3) that achievements obtained through hard labor, determination, and sacrifice are more rewarding and enduring than those which are the results of public benevolence; (4) that it is good to have noble ideas and aspirations and to work to accomplish their realization. The founders, as well as the present leaders of MRA, believe this school should train its students in the techniques of acquiring knowledge by the scientific method and that scientific knowledge should be used in a moral, humane way. The school also emphasized religious principles upon which this nation was founded and thus provided an opportunity for Christian witness for the students, teachers, and parents.
As MRA’s reputation grew, so did its student body. In order to accommodate continued growth, a capital campaign was started, with various phases being implemented through the years. Supported mainly by patrons, alumni, grandparents and friends, these funds help the school renovate existing buildings and build new ones.
Phase One: In 2002, Madison Ridgeland Academy completed its most ambitious building project, a state of the art science and math complex was built for the secondary school.
Phase Two: This phase included a complete makeover of the elementary facilities, including new classrooms, renovation of existing structures, and an upgrade of the playground.
Phase Three: In the years 2013-2014, the school underwent more improvements. Artificial turf was added along with a new track, concession stand improvements including a Patriot store, state-of-the-art weight room, football suite, coach’s offices, locker room, and coach’s locker room. In addition to the athletic upgrades, five classrooms, a board room, and a graphic arts lab were added. During this time, Madison Ridgeland Academy also purchased 6.5 acres of property one-fourth mile from the campus for future development.
In 2015, MRA’s enrollment jumped to 1,066. This increase led to various upgrades and additions to the campus, including technology upgrades, three stem labs, renovation of the existing kindergarten and high school computer labs, new exterior cameras, fingerprint security system, LED lights and sensors, exterior lighting throughout campus, and a new baseball covered practice facility.
Today, MRA continues a trend of record enrollment with 1138 students. With the opening of a new Middle School Building and Dining Commons, the campus is growing to meet the demands of this enrollment and retention. The campus encompasses seven academic buildings and includes a math lab, French and Spanish labs, two libraries, four STEM labs, four computer labs, two cafeterias, three multi-purpose rooms, four art rooms, four music rooms, two playgrounds, a secondary school chemistry/physics laboratory, a secondary school biology laboratory, a rooftop observatory, and a 100-seat mini-theatre. Athletic facilities include two air-conditioned gyms, a lighted football field, a baseball stadium, updated track and field facilities, and a covered baseball practice area.
While MRA has a proven and proud history, the outlook is even brighter as we grow to meet the demands of the growing community and provide a quality educational environment for our leaders of tomorrow.