Modesto, CA – September 14, 2017 – Aspire Public Schools (Aspire) announces today its plans to open a new Modesto school site to serve as the home of both Aspire University Charter School (Aspire UCS) and Aspire Vanguard College Preparatory Academy (Aspire Vanguard) beginning in the Fall of 2018. Aspire has leased the property at 819 Sunset Avenue in Modesto to develop this new TK-12 combined campus on over six acres. Aspire UCS currently operates on a constrained campus in portable classrooms, while Aspire Vanguard has a short-term lease with Empire Union School District in Empire. There are no changes to the locations or operations of either school during the current school year.
Aspire sought a new combined campus in order to expand the schools’ capacities to serve more students, enhance programming, and offer a more central location within the community. The selected property was for many years a community health and fitness center called the SOS Club, which closed recently. To renovate the facility and develop the school grounds, Aspire is partnering with the Turner-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, an innovative social impact investment fund dedicated to accelerating the growth of best-in-class charter schools.
“We are excited to have found a permanent home for both Aspire schools and intend to honor the longstanding impact of the SOS Club by creating strong school culture and making great use of the ample outdoor play space for all of our students, while also strengthening the academic programs and collaborative learning environments we will be able to offer,” says Aspire Superintendent Lane Weiss.
Aspire UCS currently serves grades K-5, and Aspire Vanguard currently serves grades 6-12. A major priority throughout the facilities search for a new campus was ensuring sufficient space to accommodate all current families. “There will be a spot for all current Aspire UCS and Aspire Vanguard students at the new site, and we are hopeful that all families will choose to make the move with us,” says Aspire Associate Superintendent Jeff Palmquist. In fact, the new campus will eventually serve over 1,050 students, roughly 400 more students than the two campuses are able to serve at present.
The Sunset Avenue site is located within the boundaries of Modesto City Schools, and Aspire expects approval to operate at the new location this fall through a new charter petition for Aspire UCS and a material revision for Aspire Vanguard.
“We thank members of the Modesto community for their insight and support in this facilities search and planning process, and we deeply appreciate the opportunity to expand to serve new and current Aspire students in the high-need area of west/central Modesto,” says Aspire CEO Carolyn Hack.
Aspire plans to host a building dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony in the fall of 2018 after school has started in the new space, and the community of Modesto will be welcome to attend.
About Aspire Public Schools
Aspire Public Schools provides over 16,000 students with a high-quality education that prepares them to succeed in college, career, and life. Founded in 1998, Aspire now operates 40 small, innovative public charter schools in California and in Tennessee serving grades TK-12 with the mission of College For Certain. For more information about Aspire, please visit www.aspirepublicschools.org.