Katrina Flynn embraced her youngest son, who was impatiently playing with the dirt under his feet, as they joined a group of 50 people at Wes Howard Memorial Sports Park Thursday in celebrating the groundbreaking of Logos Public Charter School's new building.
The 25,000-square-foot campus will be built in the southeast corner of the more than 60-acre park at Ross Lane and Rossanley Drive. The Wes Howard Foundation agreed to lease the land to Logos for 100 years at a rate of $1 per year.
State Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, a member of the Wes Howard Foundation, called the building "a place for big ideas."
"It has been a long process but we have people who are very diligent and persistent with their works," Esquivel said. "So let's get it done. Let's get this thing built for these kids."
Logos, established in 2010 in a 9,500-square-foot facility on Earhart Street, has quickly grown to its capacity of 1,000 students. Executive Director Sheryl Zimmerer said at the ceremony that the $5.3 million new school will be a milestone for the institution, not only in physical facility but also in programs.
"This is not about getting more kids into the buildings," Zimmerer said. "We are expanding in the services and activities for the kids at our charter school."
In addition to more classrooms and offices for students and faculty, the new campus also will feature a music room, a science lab, an art room, an assembly room with a capacity of 150 people and a library. Zimmerer said Logos began expanding this year with its arts and theater department and a brand new track and field team for middle-school students to compete in the Oregon Middle School Meet of Champions.
Medford School Board Chairwoman Karen Starchvick, along with members Jim Horner and Suzanne Messer, also spoke in support of the new building after the ceremony.
"They need it for sure — they are definitely busting out of the seams over there," Starchvick said. "We're excited about it."
"It is exciting for them," Messer said. "It will be the new venue for them to provide the kids with new technology and the stuff they don't have now. ... (The building) will help amplify their works."
Horner said he appreciated the relationship between Logos and the community.
"It's nice to see the community stepped up and helped Logos out with its fundraising effort," he said. "The building ... its model is very cost effective."
Flynn, mother of three, said she has enrolled her kids in Logos for seven years. She said Logos has provided the desirable education that public schools couldn't and that she's thrilled to see the school's new campus.
"I love the school and the individualized curriculum. ... I love the teachers," Flynn said. "I have nieces and nephews in public schools and they can't get the same education there. I just love it here."
The building is set to complete in fall 2018, Zimmerer said.
— Reach reporting intern Tran Nguyen at 541-776-4485 or firstname.lastname@example.org.