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Achieve Language Academy’s New Building

Mary (Grade N/A / Achieve Language Academy) Originally published February 2005

Achieve Language Academy moved into a new building at the start of the school year. Achieve Language Academy dedicated its building expansion and renovation on Friday, September 24 [2004] at the school, 2169 Stillwater Avenue.

Full to the brim with 325 students, this innovative open expansion provides the needed additional space for this multicultural Preschool through the 8th grade community. ALA provides a multi-lingual and multi-cultural education for students in grades K-8, all of whom learn a second language: Hmong, Spanish or English. The school overlooks Beaver Lake, a hidden jewel on St. Paul’s East side.

The existing classroom building was originally the parochial school and had been extensively renovated. The total cost of $6.65 million includes refinancing the purchase of the building and a smaller expansion built in 2001. The St Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority issued revenue bonds. Doherty & Company served as the underwriters. The project architect is Hokanson/ Lunning/Wende Architects of St Paul. Watson-Forsberg Company of Minneapolis was the general contractor.

Three students share their views of their new school:

“The school this year was built new and better. It has beautiful rooms and a pretty gym. The school last year didn’t even look good. I like the school this year because it makes me feel like I’m in high school.”
-Seng, 7-8 grader

“Our new building is the best building. I’m going to talk about how the building looked five years ago. It was very little and was poor. We had to have a gym in the cafeteria. Our recess was in a small park on the side of the school. The students had to collect box tops to earn money for a new playground. I was only in third grade and our classroom was so small it would take you one second to get to the other side of the room.”
-Ryan, 7-8 grader

“My feet carry me to the school as a slight breeze blows. A new school, a new class, a new start. My first thoughts were negative about uniforms. But the longer I stayed at the school, the more positive my attitude became. So much smaller than my other schools. And yet I know its good for me to have help from someone if I should need it. The school is new. When you walk through the glass doors you are always greeted with a sense of security. Walk through the hallways and someone will always say, ‘Hi.'”
-Michael, 7-8 grader

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