Building will be located near Microtel Inn & Suites

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FARMINGTON — Construction on a new home for the Mosaic Academy will start soon on a hillside in south Aztec, but more money is needed to make the new building a reality.

The Mosaic Academy is a charter elementary school that meets in several portable trailers near Hartman Park in central Aztec. That location was never intended to be a permanent site for the charter school, which opened in 2006.

A total of $150,000 has been spent on predevelopment work for the new location, including $15,000 in earnest money for the property near Microtel Inn & Suites, according to a newsletter from Friends of Mosaic Academy. The nonprofit foundation was formed in 2012 with the sole purpose of raising money for a new building.

Friends of Mosaic Academy hopes to raise about $200,000 to pay for construction and property expenses, such as insurance and taxes. The money also will be used to pay for furnishings, fixtures and equipment, according to Coila King, the group's board chairwoman.

The charter school must have a permanent building by the 2019-2020 school year or it could lose its charter. Charter schools are required to renew their charter every five years. By the third time its charter is renewed, a school must have a permanent location, according to state statute.

King said the new building should be open next school year. The new building will have about three times as much space as is currently available in the portable classrooms.

"The library will be a prominent part of the building," she said.

 

The school has about 180 students, and the future building will be approximately 20,000 square feet in size. Donations to Friends of Mosaic Academy, as well as school funds, will pay for the building.

According to the Friends newsletter, a construction loan application has been filed to help pay for the building. Negotiations related to the cost of building construction are ongoing. Because it is considered part of the Aztec Municipal School District, the school was required to locate within district boundaries.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new structure will be held at 10 a.m. Sept. 20.

The building also will feature a courtyard, a conference room, storage space and counseling offices.

 

King said the Mosaic Academy is different from other elementary schools in the area because its classrooms include multiple age groups.

"The building design has that in mind," King said.

Donations can be mailed to Friends of Mosaic Academy, 450 Llano St., Aztec, NM 87410 or at any Citizens Bank branch. Donations can also be made online at friendsofmosaicacademy.org. Donations are tax deductible.

People interested on serving on the Friends of Mosaic Academy board can contact King at coila_unm@yahoo.com.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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