NASCAR champion Kyle Busch is coming to the Myrtle Beach area next Tuesday.
The 2015 champion will be here Aug. 7 for the grand opening of the Palmetto Academy for Learning Motorsports’ new building at 826 West Cox Ferry Road in Conway from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Busch will arrive at 1:30 p.m.
Principal Avery Moore said he used his connections with Darlington Speedway President Kerry Tharp to bring Busch to the grand opening.
Moore said they broke ground on the new building in January and he hopes to have it ready for classes around September.
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“We’ve outgrown our facility where we’re at and we’ve never really had a building that is specifically designed to do the type of education that we provide,” Moore said. “We’ve been wanting to have a building for years, but with the population increase in terms of students we just needed more room.”
The PALM charter school has been operating for seven years, and is the only high school in the country with a focus on auto racing, according to Moore, who noted the school had 125 students last year with 140 already registered for this year.
Students graduate with a high school diploma like any other school, but can choose one of four vocational programs to prepare them for a job after graduation.
Those include digital graphics, welding, auto collision and motorsports technology, where students get hands-on experience learning to build a race car from the ground up.
The new 30,000 square-foot building will have 10 bay doors for students to work on cars, Moore said.
Moore races a student-built car at Myrtle Beach Speedway, and his students are the pit crew.
“We have about seven students that work the car when it’s on the track,” Moore said. “I’m the only NASCAR-racing principal in the nation, so that grabs attention.”
The school is only open to residents of Horry County, tuition-free and accepts most students who apply, Moore said.
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian