AZTEC — Mosaic Academy Charter School in Aztec is beginning to raise funds for the design and construction of a permanent facility.
Principal Bonnie Braden said the school is working with the Friends of Mosaic Academy Foundation to raise $60,000 for work to develop a building to house the school's 180 students and nine classroom teachers.
"We've been looking at a permanent facility for a long time," Braden said.
Braden said state law for charter schools says if Mosaic wants its charter renewed after 2015, it will need to be in permanent facility or "brick and mortar" building.
Mosaic is charted through the Aztec Municipal School District. The district's board of education approved the school's charter for 2014-2019 at a board meeting on Dec. 12. For the district to renew the school's charter after 2019, the school will need to be located in a permanent building.
The New Mexico Virtual Academy in Farmington is the only other charter school operating in San Juan County. The online school has a permanent building for students and staff to use at 845 N. Sullivan Ave. in Farmington.
Coila King, chair of Friends of Mosaic Academy Foundation's board, said the organization's goal is to raise the $60,000 needed for design costs for the Aztec charter school in the next two years. The money will cover hiring an architect to develop the project.
"This is the first piece before they start designing a building," King said.
The foundation is awaiting approval of its federal nonprofit status application before it starts soliciting donations for the project.
Mosaic Academy is currently housed in six portable classrooms on land owned by Gordon Crane Sr. and Gordon Crane Jr. on Llano Street near Hartman Park, the Aztec Boys & Girls Club and the Aztec Public Library.
Braden said she likes the location of the school, adding that students use the Boys & Girls Club gym, the baseball fields at Hartman Park and the library for school activities.
"We're in a real ideal location," Braden said.
Gordon Crane Jr. said he has spoken to Braden several times about the upcoming changes. He said they are working on an agreement for the school and the land it is housed on.
While the location of the permanent school building has not been finalized, Gordon Crane Jr. hinted it may remain at its current location.
"They are a great bunch of people and a great bunch of kids," he said. "They need to stay there, they need to be there."