By Tamas Mondovics

Pepin Academies, the non-profit charter school for students with learning and learning-related disabilities received the green light last month to completely vacate its temporary campus in Riverview and move its operation into a newly purchased and renovated building nearby.

School officials were pleased to receive a Certificate of Occupancy for the school’s new 16,000 sq. ft. campus, located at 9304 Camden Field in Riverview, which they said allows room for more students to be served by the tuition-free, public charter school, following the winter break. The official opening date for the new Riverview campus is Monday, January 9.

“The new school was designed with the students we serve in mind, offering a multi-sensory environment center and skills lab, in addition to the nurturing ‘whole’ child atmosphere our staff provides,” said Pepin Academies executive director and school principal, Dr. Craig Butz.

Pepin Academies has been serving students for nearly two decades, in three schools – two in Hillsborough County and one in Pasco County and are the only full-time exceptional student education (ESE) day schools in Florida that offer a standard diploma option for children with learning and learning-related disabilities.

Within its campuses, Pepin currently serves more than 700 students from third to twelfth grade and young adults 18 to 22. The school’s temporary Riverview campus at 10530 Lake St Charles Blvd. has been serving nearly 200 students since 2013. The new facility will see a total of 275 students with capacity for 325 students including this year’s ninth and tenth graders.

Aside from the space for more students, the new campus includes a library, an indoor space for physical education, and an outdoor play area, which the temporary building did not have.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to help even more students in the Riverview community receive the specialized instruction Pepin Academies is known and recognized for,” Butz said.

Butz spoke highly of the local community support when he said, “The dedicated support from our community leaders, contractor Batson-Cook and parents allowed our footprint to expand through this exciting project and give even more students with learning disabilities the opportunity to be successful in our unique learning environment.”
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