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Charter Finds its Place

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By Shelley Widhalm, Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
Loveland Classical Schools will move into church building, plans to double site’s size

Loveland Classical Schools is opening a K-12 charter school in a southwest Loveland church building with plans to more than double the building’s size by this fall.

The school, which will start with grades K-9, is moving into a nearly 18,000 square-foot building at 3835 14th Street SW.

“It’s got a modern look, but the pillars bring a classical feel to it,” said Trisha Coberly, co-founder of the school, referring to the building’s two pillars in front and the stucco and stonework exterior. “That’s exactly what we offer, a classical education in modern times.”

Loveland Classical Schools will follow a Core Knowledge curriculum for grades K-8 with an emphasis on classical education in grades 9-12.

The founders gained approval on March 3 to open the school.

As required by the Colorado Board of Education, the Thompson School District Board of Education voted on their remanded charter application, giving approval with a list of terms and conditions, including opening the school for grades K-9 and adding all three grades the next year or one year at a time.

In their original application, the founders identified three possible properties. To make the final selection, they brought on the services of Dustin Jones of Education Facilities in Denver, who connected them with HighMark School Development, an investment company in Midvale, Utah, that helps charter schools develop schools.

HighMark is in process of purchasing the property from CDF Holdings LLCS, owner of the property, and put down earnest money on March 11, Coberly said. HighMark is purchasing the property — the building and the six-acre site on which it sits — on behalf of Loveland Classical Schools, which will lease the building through per-pupil revenue, she said.

The building currently is occupied by The Church at Loveland, which plans to continue meeting there for Wednesday and Sunday services, said Lloyd Nichols, associate minister for the church, which built the building four years ago but no longer owns it.

“It makes sense to combine our efforts and move forward,” Nichols said. “We’re looking forward to the opportunity to serve the community in this way. It’s just an opportunity to help the kids.”

The church may co-lease the space from HighMark, Coberly said. Neither could give a definitive answer.

Loveland Classical Schools plans to renovate the existing two-story building and add another 28,000 square feet to the east and the north.

“The space is ideal for a school. It allows us to build on,” Coberly said.

Within the existing building, the sanctuary will function as a multi-purpose room to include a gymnasium and staging area, the offices will be used for administration, and a technology lab and library will be added. The two-story addition will house 25 classrooms.

Construction is expected to begin in early June and be completed by the end of August.

The school will open with nearly 600 students, instead of 350 students as originally planned. There will be 60 students per grade in grades K-6 and 50 students per grade in grades 7-9.

“We got over 1,100 wanting to get in,” Coberly said.

The lottery will begin May 2 with grade 9 and move down through the grades. The students who are not selected will be put on a waiting list.