Thursday, May 20, 2010

Charter To Expand Facilities

By John Larson

SOCORRO - Cottonwood Valley Charter has been operating out of portable classroom buildings for nine years, but soon the school will expand its facilities.
This summer construction of a multipurpose building, which will offer cafeteria, gym and assembly space, as well as two classrooms and a stage, will start with a groundbreaking ceremony on May 26 at 10:30 a.m. The school is located at the corner of Neel and Western.
Principal Karin Williams said the construction has been in the planning stages for a number of years.
“Many people have worked really hard in getting this done,” Williams said. “From the County Commission to the school board members, and our state representatives. The guest list for the groundbreaking includes state, local, and county representatives, Socorro Consolidated School officials, as well as the School Board. Teachers, parents, and students, as well as the wider community.” Williams said the multipurpose building will enable students to have lunch in a central place, and provide for a much-needed music room and art classroom.
“It’s also a very green building, with large south-facing windows and a swamp cooler,” she said. “We’re hoping to have low energy costs.”
Cottonwood Valley Charter School opened in the fall of 2001 on the old Socorro General Hospital property as result of a parent initiative to provide an alternative public school choice in Socorro County.
In November 2004, then-principal Mary Nutt made a formal request to the Socorro County Commission for the transfer of the old hospital building property to the school.
In 2008, state Sens. Howie Morales and David Ulibarri, along with state Rep. Don Tripp, announced that the school was awarded $770,000 in state funds for the new multipurpose building. The Public School Capital Outlay Council voted to award the funds to the school after finding that the district met standards of a priority-based funding formula.
Today, Cottonwood Valley Charter School is a well established K-8 school, offering Spanish, Music, and Arts in addition to the Core Knowledge curriculum.
For the past nine years, students, parents, teachers, and community members at CVCS have been working to acquire permanent facilities to replace the leased portables on the grounds at Neel and Western.

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