County School Superintendent Tim Carter hopes to open the doors of a new Yavapai County Accommodation School in August 2011.
An accommodation school serves children in the court system or who otherwise cannot attend school in their home district.
If all goes well, construction crews will break ground for the new 10,000-square-foot school this summer.
The Arizona School Facilities Board approved a new 7-12 grade accommodation school in March 2007. A lack of money, however, kept the project from moving forward. According to Carter, the accommodation school "remained in line" for new buildings and, when the state board received federal stimulus money, he received the go-ahead to build a new school.
The accommodation school received a $3.6 million grant from the School Facilities Board to buy land and build the new school.
School Facilities Board Executive Director Dean Gray said the legislation authorizing the use of qualified school construction bonds or Build America Bonds is part of Gov. Jan Brewer's budget proposal.
The facilities board is waiting for final approval of the bonds, as well as looking at the make-up of the federal program, before releasing any money.
"Depending on the program requirements, we will decide which projects we can afford to fund," Gray said.
The director said the board has many details to finalize, but "hopefully we will know something this week. When the legislation passes, and I don't see a problem with it, we have to wait 90 days before going out for a bond sale."
The current accommodation school in Prescott Valley was built for 75 students, "but we are at capacity. The school services students in the 9 through 12 grades, although statutes allow for K-12 accommodation schools," Carter said.
The county superintendent indicated that a "substantial number of students would come to our school if we could handle them. Also, we don't have a middle school, and there are middle school students who do not want to go to district schools."
The project is currently in the planning phase, with Carter looking for property in the area of the Prescott Airport. He has submitted property proposals to the state, and he is preparing requests for proposals for architectural plans.
Carter is looking to build the school, and the accommodation district office, on about four acres.
"Tim is moving ahead with the land, although we haven't given the go-ahead for actual purchase, but we are real close," Gray said.
By law, the Yavapai County Accommodation School provides educational services for detained and/or adjudicated youth.
However, the school also serves students who are not "functioning in regular schools. Some students have health issues, or they need a different schedule. Some students cannot attend school during the day. The accommodation school offers three sessions - morning, afternoon and evening classes," Carter said.
North Central accredited the school - the first fully accredited accommodation school in Arizona - in 2007.
"For some students, this is where they want to be. We are their school of choice," Carter said.
Moving the school would save $1,700 in rent each month.
In addition, because of county space problems, Carter plans to move his office and the Yavapai County Education Services Agency to the new site.
"The good news is that everything would be under one roof. Plus, we could have additional space, and depending on how quick students enroll, we could rent space to other educational entities," Carter said.
Carter has also discussed with juvenile detention officials using the "facility at certain times of the day as a reporting location."
Building a new school is "exciting, and I am looking forward to it. When you think about accommodation schools, you start thinking about how to help students and how to be successful. Yavapai County is unique. Some counties don't have an accommodation school," Carter said.
Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Article comment by:
Maybe US kiddos can't compete in the global village because of people who think like R.Kramer. Have you thought that maybe many of our "kiddos" don't excell or even meet the so called "average" due to the fact that whenever they have to cut the budget, they cut education first? Or maybe it's due to the fact that too many parents want the school systems to raise their children for them and do their homework too.
Posted: Monday, March 22, 2010
Article comment by:
Must be bored !!
Posted: Saturday, March 20, 2010
Article comment by:
Absolutely, Let's continue to spend 50% of time and money on the bottom 20% of achievers. And so many wonder why US kiddos can't compete in the global village.