Indian Peaks Charter School will not be receiving the $5.2 million construction grant it applied for earlier this year.
The money was intended to be used toward building a new brick and mortar facility, which would increase the charter school's current square footage of 8,000 to nearly 13,000. Plans were in place for classrooms, a multi-purpose cafetorium, a self-contained library, and a parking lot.
The reasons given for the rejection addressed the potential availability of existing vacant facilities and lack of sufficient matching funds.
The "Building Excellent Schools Today" (BEST) grant is funded by the state, and often given out with matching grants from recipients. One reason for the rejection revolved around this very issue. Previously, Indian Peaks Charter School was told they would need to provide 34 percent matching funds for the grant. However, midway through the process, new legislation changed the matching fund amount from 34 percent to 75 percent, a significant increase.
Nancy Karas, superintendent of East Grand school district, called the rejection "disappointing."
"I agree, the need is there," Karas said. "I think (the match increase) is going to make it more difficult for IPCS to seek BEST grant funds in the future, without some other type of financial support."
On its grant application, Indian Peaks Charter School sought to waive the matching fund fee, even when it was at 34 percent. This may have adversely affected the school's chances at receiving the grant.
For now, "They'll stay in the current facility, and they'll continue their search for funding," Karas said.
As for any marked effect on enrollment, Karas said, "We won't know until school opens."