by Nik Streng, The Argus Observer
FRUITLAND — For the first time in more than 30 years, the Olde School in Fruitland will have students in the classrooms, as the Treasure Valley Classical Academy was set to open its doors this morning for the first day of school.
The academy is a charter school in Fruitland, which will house kindergarten through sixth grade this school year. It will expand by one grade per year, eventually reaching grade 12.
The charter school will emphasize a “classical education” model, which according to the school’s website “prepares young people to live in freedom and independence, engaging them in the highest matters and the deepest questions of truth, justice, virtue and beauty.”
The academy is expected to have a full enrollment of 324 students — 54 per grade for kindergarten through fourth grade, and 27 students each in fifth and sixth grades. The allotment was set by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission.
The lottery system for the 2019-20 enrollment took place in April, and TVCA Principal Stephen Lambert said the school had received applications from 532 students.
At full enrollment, Lambert estimated the academy would have up to 702 students.
Before opening this fall, the Olde School required a full renovation.
According to Lambert, this included installing a completely new HVAC system, new electrical wiring throughout the building and LED lights in every room, as well as adding new security systems and getting the building up to compliance with ADA standards.
There were also other new additions, like classroom technology, paint and carpeting and fully networking the school for internet and WiFi access.
While the renovation process was long, Lambert said he’s excited to get to open the school and get to work.