Stone Creek Charter School finds new home in Gypsum | VailDaily.com

Stone Creek Charter School finds new home in Gypsum

When Stone Creek Charter School moves its western Eagle County campus to a huge new building near Costco, one of the first things they'll unpack their big bronze mustang statue.

Stone Creek is moving its Eagle/Gypsum campus into the US Bank building across the street from Costco. The building is 30,000 square feet and it comes with 3.5 acres of land – plenty of room for all those little Mustangs to run.

"It's a school-sized facility," said Stone Creek headmaster John Brendza said. "We're building a playground and have lots of room for a field. It has everything we need to make this a big part of our future."

The Edwards campuses will stay where they are, with classes at Gracious Savior Lutheran Church and the Edwards Interfaith Chapel.

Stone Creek opened its western Eagle County campus last year in a Gypsum commercial/residential building. It was fine, but the new building is better. It's a long-term lease.

"It's the type of facility that will carry this school for decades into the future. We want to thank the people who have been so supportive to help us get to this point," Brendza said.

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Banking on success

The building has been vacant for several years since US Bank merged with other banking companies, and the operations there were moved to other locations.

Stone Creek board members repeatedly drove right by it on their way to Costco or other destinations and started eyeballing it around the first of the year.

They contacted US Bank and hammered out a deal.

Some remodeling has to be done, but it'll be minimal. They hope to start work in the next few days, Brendza said.

They'll have at least one class in each grade, kindergarten through 8th grade, when school starts in a few months. They're projecting around 275 kids in the three locations.

The new building is easier to access; just turn left into the school instead of right into Costco.

The Gypsum town council likes the idea. They voted unanimously to approve Stone Creek's request for a special use permit to use the building as a school.

"It's closer to Eagle and we've heard from parents there who said they'd commit if we were closer," Tammy Humphries, Stone Creek board president told the Gypsum town council.

The bank has been using part of the building as a warehouse, and they'll still have some stuff in an unused area, Brendza said.

Earning straight A's

Stone Creek is Eagle County's only independent charter school, operating under the Colorado Charter School Institute. It is not affiliated with the Eagle County school district.

It opened in 2006, and expanded to its second campus in western Eagle County before the last school year.

"There's still that perception that we are private school of some kind. We are a public school open to all students in Eagle County," Brendza said.

Stone Creek's middle school received an A rating in the latest Colorado School Grades rankings, an annual independent of statewide school data analysis. In the same rankings, Stone Creek's elementary school ranked in the 89th percentile among Colorado's 998 elementary schools.

It also is the Charter School Institute's highest performing school, said Ethan Hemming, CSI executive director.

"This high level of performance at Stone Creek is coupled with consistent annual increases at both the elementary and middle school levels, where students meet or exceed state achievement standards across all content areas," Hemming said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935, and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Stone Creek Charter School

For information about Stone Creek Charter School:

Call 970-569-3492 for kindergarten through 4th grade in Edwards,

Call 970-569-3066 for 5th through 8th grade in Edwards

Call 970-524-4000 for K-8th grade in Gypsum,

Or go to stonecreekschool.org.

Stone Creek’s new western Eagle County campus is located at 20 Lindbergh Drive, Gypsum (US Bank Building) directly east of Costco.