by Kristen McCarver
Cars lined both sides of Chicago Avenue in Caldwell on a clear, warm, autumn day, and a growing crowd gathered near an excavator in the dirt lot that is the new home of Elevate Academy.
Parents, future students, business partners, and even Caldwell’s Mayor, Garrett Nancolas, helped Elevate Academy break ground for their new facility (which will even include a stainless steel slide!), slated to open its doors in fall of 2019.
Matt and Monica have worked, from the very beginning, to include members of the Caldwell community in their endeavor to build a “community school,” including Mayor Nancolus, who was invited to share remarks about Elevate’s impact on the city.
“Part of the reason it’s so easy to say yes to something like this is because it’s Matt & Monica. I’ve known these two for a long time, and they have more energy, more ambition, and more courage than any two people I’ve met in my entire life,” he said with a chuckle. “…any time you can increase the quality of life for the families in this community, then you are going to have a lifetime of impact. One student, one family, one change at a time; it will change the entire community.”
As part of the planning process for Elevate Academy, Matt and Monica spent months gathering input from local businesses, like Rule Steel, and it became clear that there is a large demand for skilled tradespeople. Brooke, Detailing Manager for Rule Steel, addressed the crowd, and shared what it’s like as an employer trying to hire high-quality employees.
“A school like Elevate is focused on real-world needs…we need quality fabricators, draftspeople, and designers, and that’s why this school is so important and special. Focusing on getting these kids a trade is crucial to our local business and our community.”
The ceremony concluded in a mound of dirt with shovels, hard hats, a toss of dirt, and Matt and Monica’s characteristic good humor. Elevate Academy will open its doors to students in Caldwell and surrounding communities in the fall of 2019.