Juniper Ridge starting year in new facility

After years of raising funds, Juniper Ridge Community School was finally able to purchase land and build a new building for their students. The new school will open its doors in September of this year.

Juniper Ridge Community School's new campus is almost ready for students.

The school's new location at 615 Community Lane, near 26 1/2 Road and Horizon Place includes a 17,000-square-foot main building for offices, a community room, art room and three kindergarten classrooms. The school also moved seven classroom modulars from its previous location.

The school will open on Sept. 9, four days later than planned, said spokeswoman Brenda Chesney.

The school now sits on 28 acres of land, which will give the school plenty of room to grow, Chesney said.

"We were out of space where we were at," she said. "We had to do something because we didn't have any more capacity to grow our student enrollment."

The new Juniper Ridge campus will also allow for a bigger school garden and outdoor exploration, both of which school leaders said are fundamental to the Juniper Ridge's Waldorf education philosophy.

The school's design is "as natural as possible," Chesney said, and the new multi-purpose room will allow the entire school to gather in the same place at once — something that wasn't possible in its previous location.

The project's $7 million price tag is significantly impacting the school's revenue, board treasurer George Rau told District 51 leaders last week.

Rau said the school doesn't have student transportation, hot lunch, sports, a school nurse or math specialists as a result.

"Those are sacrifices pretty much any charter school has to make because that money comes out of (per pupil revenue,) so any help you can give us in the future would be helpful," Rau said.

Additional phases of construction will replace modulars with permanent classroom buildings for first through eighth grades.

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