New building caps latest construction at Junction’s state-funded charter school

Construction on the new caprock academy building on 24 1/2 Road is expected to be finished by mid-September. Classes start today in modular units that have been moved onto the property.

Caprock Academy students will have to wait until mid-September for a brick building at the school’s new 714 24 1/2 Road site to open with three science labs, two art rooms, two music rooms, administrative offices and a full-size gym.

They’ll have to wait up to five years more for funding to come through for a second, two-story building with 30 classrooms and a cafeteria to go up behind the first building.

But after watching the 4-year-old charter school move from a temporary spot in a church to modular units at 640 24 1/2 Road, Caprock math teacher Cerise Moran is convinced students will be delighted just to start the 2011–12 school year today in the school’s first permanent location.

“I think they’re really excited to have something to call home,” Moran said. “It’s not just trailers anymore. There’s an actual building.”

Modular units will continue to house classrooms until a second building can be added. But the new building will allow the school’s kindergarten through 11th-grade students to perform science experiments they could never do before; offer art, band and vocal teachers twice the classroom space they had at the old site; and make it possible to have recess indoors in the new gym.

The new gym is large enough for students to play the two competitive sports Caprock is involved in: basketball and volleyball. Caprock students used to play private-school competitors in gyms around the Grand Valley, but soon there won’t be any reason to seek off-site places to play.

Caprock Headmaster Kristin Trezise said she even expects the school teams to become large enough to join the Colorado High School Activities Association in the next two years.

The gym is what Anne-Marie Klein’s three children are most excited about using at the new Caprock site.

Klein said having an indoor place for physical education will be an advantage for the school, and she can’t wait to see how the school will continue to grow.

“It will be exciting when they get to add on the cafeteria and the school building itself,” Klein said.

The school paid for the new building and the 7.65 acres of land it sits on with $7 million through a private bonding process. The state-funded charter school did not have the option of asking voters for property taxes to pay off bonds.

The school is leasing 11 acres of adjacent land that it eventually hopes to buy and use for play fields. Caprock also will continue to lease the land at 640 24 1/2 Road, per an earlier lease agreement.

“We’ll either turn that land back to the landlord if they can find a new person to lease it, or it will remain empty,” Trezise said.


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