Grant helps Sharon Academy with project that adds wing, replaces yurts

  • A rendering of a proposed $3 million addition to The Sharon Academy is to replace four yurts with a new science lab, a maker space for hands-on learning, a large, science-oriented and soundproof classroom and a small classroom. (Courtesy The Sharon Academy) Courtesy of The Sharon Academy

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/2/2021 9:50:55 PM
Modified: 6/2/2021 9:50:52 PM

SHARON — The USDA Rural Development program has approved a $1.9 million loan to The Sharon Academy, which plans to build a new wing for classrooms and science labs.

The loan will pay the lion’s share of the $3 million project, with the rest to come from large grants and small private donations.

The new construction would replace the yurts that The Sharon Academy’s high school has been using as classrooms since 2005 with a new 5,300-square-foot wing that holds a science lab; a makerspace; a large, science-oriented and soundproof classroom; and a smaller classroom. The project also will include installing sprinklers in the entire building, upgrading the gym roof so it can hold solar panels in the future, converting an existing classroom into a kitchen, adding changing rooms to the gym and expanding parking.

Obtaining the USDA loan, which has more favorable terms than other forms of government loans, was critical to the scope of the project. Funding the project this way also allows the private 7-12 school to keep its tuition rate at the statewide average.

As for the yurts, people in the school’s community started asking last year about taking one of the four structures home with them. One will remain on site during construction as an office for the builders.

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