Medford’s new Waldorf-style charter school will convene classes next year in a former child care facility at the Medford YMCA.

The Madrone Trail Public Charter School board made a verbal agreement to lease the 3,666-square-foot building for two years at $3,666 per month.

Board members expect to sign a contract for the property next week.
The Waldorf-style school, sponsored by the Medford School District, will debut in September with about 75 pupils in grades kindergarten through 2 after more than two years of preparation.

“I’m very excited,” said Madrone Trail board member Daniele Anderson. “We finally have a place to anchor our energy.”

The Madrone Trail board had initially sought to lease the former Naval Reserve Center from the school district to establish its charter school.

The Medford School Board denied the request, citing liability and costs associated with bringing the vacant structure up to building codes.

On Tuesday, the Medford School Board voted to renovate the Naval Reserve at a cost of about $350,000 to temporarily house primary pupils from Jackson Elementary who have been displaced because of unsafe structural conditions at the 95-year-old structure at Jackson Street. Fees for moving and several portable classrooms would add about $165,000 more to the district's costs.

The move could open the way for Madrone Trail to lease the Naval Reserve in two years when Jackson pupils are expected to return to their campus after Jackson has either been replaced or remodeled.

— Paris Achen