by Alx Stevens, Meridian Press
Students, parents and staff of Compass Charter School started the school year with a ribbon cutting for its new building.
“I love it,” parent Brenda Hansen said at the Aug. 13 ceremony, a day before the start of school. Hansen has four children who will have classes in the new building. “All of them are excited,” she said. “They’ve been watching the project. It’s neat seeing it come to fruition.”
Compass Charter School held a few events for students and parents to see the progress of the building as it was constructed. Some even got to sign their names on the wooden sub-flooring upstairs.
After about 11 months of construction Compass Charter School opened the doors for its new 6-12 facility off of Black Cat and Franklin roads in Meridian.
“I love how open it is,” Hansen said. “The set up of the rooms, how you have tables where you can have groups working. I think that facilitates good learning. (And) it seems bright, lots of windows, bright lighting inside.”
Hansen’s children were also excited for additional study and hang-out spaces in the hallways: sitting booths, tall and short tables with chairs for small groups, couches and even amphitheater-style seating on the second floor.
The 68,000-square-foot building will host about 550 students in grades 6-12.
“We’ve been very intentional about the layout of the building,” said principal Kelly Trudeau. She described classes for grades 6-8 will be primarily in the south wing of the school, while grades 9-12 will have classes primarily in the north wing.
“(The) high school hallways are quite a bit wider because the idea is that there’s chairs, tables, places for them to relax or hang out,” Trudeau said. The feel is similar to that of a college campus. This is especially beneficial for juniors and seniors, who will be taking college-level credits and working on career exploration.
The school’s new location, at 4667 W. Aviator St. in Meridian, is only a few miles from the College of Western Idaho, one of the institutions the school partners with for dual-credit classes, so some students could take additional classes there. Trudeau added the school is continuing to seek and add business partnerships for its apprenticeship program.