Programs booming, looking for more space in old school

Friday, August 16, 2019

Two Alta private programs that are leasing space from the school district in the old high school building, are growing so rapidly that they will need more space - which proprietors agree is, “a good problem to have.”

Brent Koppe told the Alta-Aurelia School Board this week that his mixed martial arts instruction program has quickly grown to 30 students, and he would like to lease two additional rooms in the building. Some of the space will need repairs, he said, and he would like to add a shower stall. However, his lease is a month-to-month arrangement, a concern if he needs to invest funds into upgrading the space without knowing if he will have long-term access.

Kristina Allen, who operated a dance studio in the former school, has seen even more dramatic growth, doubling her student numbers this year to 100. She would like to expand into another room, including removing a sink and outdated wiring, and installing wall mirrors, but is also concerned about investing funds without a long-term lease. She asked the board to consider giving her a three to five-year lease on her space.

Board member Gigi Nelson expressed concerns about the cleanliness and condition of the bathroom provided for the dance students. “We owe that to them,” she said.

The board later noted that while space may be leased for other uses, the building remains an education asset, and if it ever is needed for classes, that would be first priority - although the best course would be keeping all students of like levels in the same building.

The superintendent planned to tour the spaces in the building Wednesday with the dance and MMA users to determine what can be done to meet their needs.