The Pueblo West Metro District Board recently finalized an agreement with the Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences (PSAS) to provide land for the construction of a new proposed District 70 charter school in proximity of Linda Avenue and Matt Drive in Pueblo West. Without the forward-thinking vision and planning of past District Boards who built waste water infrastructure in this area, this opportunity would not have been possible. The PSAS Board desires to begin construction within two and a half years, and by no later than five years following the signing of the agreement. The Pueblo School for the Arts and Sciences system will begin the preliminary process with the District 70 Board to secure a charter with the District after the New Year.
The land will allow for construction of a kindergarten through 8th grade facility and then accommodate for future construction of a high school. Securing this land is a vital first step as PSAS will launch a vigorous 2 to 3 year capital campaign to raise the funds for the new facility. The school would create approximately 30 jobs with the K-8, and up to 60 more jobs once the High School is launched.
PSAS Director, Brian Repola, said the school will have a two-track curriculum. The first, a typical academic track will use the Paideia curriculum which is similar to what you would observe in other high performing schools in Pueblo County. The second curriculum will be what Repola calls a “STEM-maker school.” A STEM-maker school is a type of learning environment that develops individual skills to make or build things with their hands in addition to preparing them to pursue a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) degree. This STEM-maker curriculum will begin in kindergarten. Repola stated, “We not only want students to use their brain, we also want them to use their hands. A shrinking number of people in the world today know how to build things with their hands. The STEM-maker school model incorporates building things into the learning model. At PSAS, we teach to the whole student. We teach more than just academics, we teach them the arts, creativity, ingenuity and a variety of skills that position a student for success whether they pursue a trade or a college degree.”
The school will be located on a school designated lot that was part of the McCulloch land transfer. As a District 70 charter school, the new PSAS Charter School will conform to the original intent for this land. With only one school north of Highway 50 in Pueblo West, this will add a much-needed primary and secondary education presence on the north side of Pueblo West Metro District and Pueblo County. In addition, the new school will boost Pueblo West’s economic development efforts, adding 30-90 new jobs with the school itself, and improving on an already excellent academic environment in Pueblo West. “Bringing another attractive high quality K-12 school to Pueblo West will only enhance our community’s high standard of education and quality of life. We are excited PSAS has decided to build in Pueblo West, and we look forward to working closely with them over the next few years to bring this project to fruition,” said District Manager, Darrin Tangeman.