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Phoenix charter school lands $1.3M

Students at Armadillo Technical Institute in Phoenix. file photo

Armadillo Technical Institute, a public charter school in Phoenix, has been awarded $1.3 million through the American Rescue Plan Act, the COVID-19 stimulus package, to support facilities improvements.

Part of the Phoenix-Talent School District, Armadillo Technical Institute is Southern Oregon’s oldest public charter school — it opened in August 2000 — and one of the first 12 chartered in Oregon. It’s open to students in grades 9-12.

Serving a maximum of 120 students, ATI is based in a converted church at 106 N. Rose St., in Phoenix. According to a news release, the school will use the money to upgrade its aging building.

“Since their purchase of their facilities, ATI has made these buildings a comfortable, safe and wonderfully quirky place for students to be,” read the release, “but look closer and the limits of the facilities start to show. The buildings are well cared for, but they are aging and were not designed to meet the needs of education, so staff and students have had to find solutions for challenges such as access to water for programs such as art or science, minimal storage, and PE spaces that are limited and only usable in fair weather.”