ASPIRE looking for new digs
December 20, 2013
Douglas County's alternative high school is looking for a new home.
The ASPIRE program is losing its space on Water Street in June, and school officials are trying to secure a new location before that happens. The move will also affect the school district's professional development center.
Superintendent Lisa Noonan said she's looking at two different Minden sites for the school which serves 70 students, both of which have challenges.
One is the former Lira's Supermarket, which has been empty since October 2010.
"I love the location," Noonan told school board members at their Dec. 10 meeting. "But it will require a lot of improvements. It's really just a big space."
The other candidate is Western Nevada College's Bently Campus in Minden.
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"We approached their board years ago, and they were not quite as open to the idea as they are now," she said. "They'll still want to use the campus for evening classes. But using it during the day looks very promising."
The campus enrollment has dropped over the past few years, which improves chances the college could accommodate ASPIRE during the day, but it would still mean having to share the facilities.
"The campus building is already a school, and I love that it says, 'you belong here.'"
But Noonan said the Lira's building was first in line, so she will work on that first.
"We are under the gun here, so we're going to have to make a decision, soon," she said.
The lease on the Water Street building expired Aug. 1, but because of the major overhaul being conducted by Chris Bently, tenants are being asked to leave earlier.
The name ASPIRE is an acronym for All Students Pursuing Integrity, Responsibility and Education. The program started in 2006 for high and middle school students.
It is in the process of being accredited as a school.
ASPIRE Academy High School offers credit acceleration and recovery, a technology-based classroom, smaller personalized education plans and character education for 9th through 12th grade students.
Students ride the school bus, and are dropped off at the ASPIRE campus. The facility includes a commons, classrooms, library, and cafeteria/multipurpose room.