Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Falcon Ridge Charter School runs afoul of the city of Kuna

Kuna City Council members at their next council meeting will discuss the possibility of revoking the development agreement associated with Falcon Ridge Charter School.
But the Falcon Ridge school board chairman says it’s more of a technical issue and will have no impact whatsoever on existing school operations.
“All it’s really going to do is put us in a stasis,” school board chairman Bob Purbeck told me last week. “It just means we can’t build (a new school building) until we renew our permit and go through the whole development process again. It doesn’t do anything to us now. We will continue to operate as we are.”
Falcon Ridge opened in 2005 on 8 acres at the southeast corner of South Ten Mile and West Kuna roads with temporary “portable” classrooms. Falcon Ridge is Kuna’s only charter school and serves students in kindergarten through 8th grade.
It has always been Falcon Ridge’s goal to build a permanent standalone school at the site in the future. But higher-than-expected development costs at the time put the school in a financial bind, requiring the school to take out a loan to help defray such costs as the parking lot, laying sewer and water lines and curb, gutter and sidewalk. But the school has since paid off that loan and now only owes about $200,000 on the original purchase of the land, Purbeck said.
So the school is probably in the best financial position it’s ever been in, Purbeck said. Helping matters was a surprise grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation of $100,000 in December. Purbeck said the school may put that toward a building fund or use it to pay down the land purchase loan.
The city will hold a public hearing on the matter during the regular City Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

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