EDWARDS, Colorado - Growing pains never felt this good.
The Vail Academy's student enrollment has almost doubled over the last two years and the school is adding six new classroom right now with plans for four more in the extremely near future.
"These are good problems to have," said Russ Kested, the Vail Academy headmaster.
The Vail Academy is a kindergarten-eighth grade school on the same campus as Vail Christian High School in Edwards, right across Highway 6 from St. Clare's. The stated mission is "educating the whole child: heart, mind, body and soul."
The Vail Academy's enrollment increased from 67 students to 120 in two years, which explains the campus expansion east of the current building. The Vail Academy's board of directors moved ahead with six new classrooms and room for four more.
"We've always been blessed. TVA has always had a place to call home, big or small, and we have watched our home go through many changes," said TVA teacher Jen Chesery." And I do believe our past and present have been shaped by God's hand, just as this expansion is being led him. We are truly blessed, and I love going to TVA each and every day."
The Vail Academy's expansion will happen in two phases, Kested said.
The first phase is happening now. Three modular buildings with two classrooms each are being finished right now.
They hope to move in Dec. 17 as the school heads into Christmas break, then start classes in them when the new semester opens Jan. 7.
They'll be home to the Upper Academy's (middle school) music, art and Spanish classes.
"The Vail Academy has far exceeded our expectations. We see our children growing academically, socially and spiritually," said TVA parent Ed Woodland.
The modular buildings will surround a courtyard of personalized bricks and benches.
"We would like to invite Vail Academy families, alumni, local businesses and the community to become part of this by purchasing a courtyard brick or bench," Howell said.
You can have it etched with your favorite quote, your name, your business name or pretty much anything else you want.
The plan includes a community park with a tunnel, climbing arch, tetherball and a paved play area.
Starting next spring the park and playground will be expanded.
When they need to expand again, the second phase will accommodate two more modulars and four more classrooms on the site.
TVA has raised 72.5 percent of the money it needs for the first phase.
The capital campaign will last up to five years, Kested said.
"The Vail Academy's newest expansion project in Edwards gives the school a sense of serenity and permanence as it capitalizes on a strong educational track record and a beautiful riverfront location," said former TVA teacher Camille Cooper.
The land where all this is happening is owned by Gracious Savior Lutheran Church in Edwards and leased to The Vail Academy.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.