August 15, 2011
A-Rated Charter School In Riverview On Schedule To Open This Fall
“I can’t be happier with the progress on our new Riverview facility,” said Valrico Lake Advantage Academy (VLAA) Principal Bonnie Guertin, as she commented on the construction of the school’s new, 41,000-sq.-ft. charter school facility now reaching completion in Riverview.
The two-story, state-of-the-art charter school is being built by Center Construction Co. and will be available to students in Kindergarten through eighth grade.
Valrico Lake Advantage Academy, originally located at 1653 Bloomingdale Ave., was occupied by little more than 207 students last season, just enough for the building and faculty to handle.
“The huge demand expressed by the community prompted the administration to look for a new location for the 2011-12 school year,” Guertin said. “We have just been so blessed.”
The new building will be located at 13306 Boyette Rd., on the Northwest corner of the Boyette and Bell Shoals roads, occupying seven acres. It will include large, child-friendly classrooms, a multi-purpose room, a cafeteria, a library, a computer lab, an art room, a science lab and age-appropriate play areas for students in grades kindergarten through seventh grade, with plans to expand to eighth grade in 2012-2013.
“Valrico Lake Advantage Academy, the students, staff and parents are all excited about the new school,” Guertin said. “Demand for our school is tremendous. Word of mouth interest alone has resulted in a rush of applicants for the new school and we expect to open at full occupancy in August.”
Guertin added that the interest by the community will also speed up the work for the facilities second phase, specifically a 17,000-sq.-ft. school building, which will eventually complete the project.
When all completed, the school will have close to three times its current student capacity, with 650 student in the first building and 300 students in the second, which could not be possible was it not for the hard work of all a dedicated staff, according to Charter School Associates, Inc., President Mike Strader.
“We are proud of the rigorous academic program that Bonnie and her staff have provided to the students currently attending Valrico Lake Advantage Academy,” Strader said. “VLAA students and staff have already demonstrated that high quality teaching results in high quality learning.”
VLAA is proud of creating a family-oriented learning environment for the past two years and claims that the new facility will give its programs plenty of room to grow and provide many new opportunities for academics as it will make use of a new science lab, which will offer students a place to further explore enrichment activities in the areas of biology, physical science and environmental sciences.
Strader said that VLAA’s new location will also open the way for the school to draw students for its new surroundings.
“The school will reach out to all students in the area who have an interest in math and science,” Strader said.
For more information about the school, please visit www.valricoacademy.com or call 699-5049.