Students at a local charter school will have a new space when they return to class this fall. Beacon Academy officials have been looking for a new place to call their own since 2006.
The school was previously located at the Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove. Beacon Academy now will have a home all to its own at 3415 Louisiana Avenue North in Crystal, the former home of FAIR School Crystal.
"It's such a change, moving from a lower level of a large mega church," says principal Sean Koster. "It's been a beautiful transition for us."
On Wednesday, staff spent the day racing against the clock in hopes of being ready for the first day of school.
"I'm really excited," says sixth-grade teacher Sandie Illi.
In her old space, Illi and other teachers couldn't put anything permanent on the walls because the church used the facility on the weekends.
"Having our own space gives us so much more ownership, the kids feel ownership to it, they know they're going to come back on Monday and whatever they were working on is still going to be sitting at their spot," she explained.
The students will also be able to enjoy the outdoors with plenty of green space and new playgrounds.
"We are thrilled about this playground because in our last building in Maple Grove we did not have a playground at all, the kids played on the blacktop or they played on the hill of the grassy area," says Beacon Academy Communications Coordinator Ann Marie Roder.
While the building has changed, the core foundation of Beacon Academy will remain the same.
"Our school is built on the idea of having every day Spanish, and character education, those are the two pillars that have been the backbone of our community since we opened the doors back in 2003," said Koster.
Currently there are about 600 students who attend Beacon Academy. School officials say they have room for at least 700 students. The charter school caters to kindergarten through eighth grades. The public is invited to attend a grand opening on Aug. 28, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Sonya Goins, email@example.com