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North Star Charter starts work on its expansion

North Star Charter School (bottom right) plans add a track and football field, a covered outdoor classroom plaza, a fenced off court sports area and more parking. Image courtesy of North Star Charter School.

North Star Charter School (bottom right) plans add a track and football field, a covered outdoor classroom plaza, a fenced off court sports area and more parking. Image courtesy of North Star Charter School.

North Star Charter School in Eagle has started work on an expansion plan that will transform six acres of rough, grassy area into a football

Melissa Andersen

Melissa Andersen

field encircled by a track, a bigger playground, a fenced-in court sports area, a fitness circuit and more parking.

The three-year, $2 million campaign that started in fall 2016 will add the outdoor elements that North Star has lacked for its first 14 years, said Joanna O’Donnell, the school’s development director.

“Our students have a high success rate in all standardized testing,” secondary administrator Melissa Andersen said. “We believe that part of that success is encouraging healthy bodies and minds.”

The Eagle K-12 school began its first phase of construction the week

Joanna O'Donnell

Joanna O’Donnell

of Oct. 9. The three-phase project is expected to be completed in 2019. The school has about 1,000 students and a staff of 75.

The $300,000 first phase includes expanding an existing small playground, building a 40-by-20 foot, covered outdoor classroom plaza; installing a fenced-off 84-by-44-foot sports court area for basketball and other court sports; and adding a five-station fitness circuit, said O’Donnell.

North Star has the $300,000 it needed for the first phase, and is now raising money from corporate partners, foundations and grants for the second phase. Next summer, school officials want to expand the parking lot by 47 spaces and add a drop-off area, estimated at $475,000 to $575,000. The third year would involve building a track with a football-size field in the middle that could serve other field sports, including softball, estimated at $775,000 to $1.1million, she said.

“We want to expand our athletic offerings for our high school,” O’Donnell said.

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