FORT COLLINS, CO.—JUNE 9, 2010—Fort Collins’ largest charter school – Liberty Common School – will open Liberty Common High School this fall in a 27,000-square-foot building in Fort Collins recently purchased by real estate company McWhinney.
The school will offer coursework for grades 7-10 in the new facility; K-6 classes will continue at its present location off East Prospect Road.
McWhinney is leasing the building, located at 2745 Minnesota Dr. near the corner of Drake and Timberline roads, to Liberty Common School, which has offered classes for grades K-9 since opening in 1997.
The new building will allow Liberty Common School to increase its overall enrollment from 575 to approximately 900 students, and introduce a Cole.Evansge-preparatory, classical liberal- arts curriculum to 10th-grade students this fall that accentuates math, science and engineering. Over the next two years, Liberty Common High School will add classes for 11th and 12th-grade students.
“We couldn’t have accomplished this without McWhinney’s help,” said Bob Schaffer, director of secondary instruction at Liberty Common School’s new high school. “They’ve been absolutely great to work with. We’re so grateful for McWhinney’s leadership in the education marketplace and for helping to raise achievement in public schooling.”
The high-school building originally was constructed in 2004 and features 14 classrooms, a library, administrative and support areas and a large multi-purpose facility. Together with McWhinney, Liberty Common School is refinishing the interior with new paint and carpet, lockers and some minor classroom reconfigurations.
“McWhinney had been looking at the building as a strategic acquisition for several months,” said Dean Barber, McWhinney vice president. “When we heard Liberty Common School needed a large space to house its new high-school program, we knew that teaming together would be a win-win for both organizations. More importantly, it’s a win-win for the kids. We’re proud to be involved in such an important community project.”
McWhinney is a strong believer in sustainable developments that reduce waste and energy use. Liberty Common School’s new high-school building already incorporates many sustainable design features, including a radiant-heat flooring system, heat exchangers in classrooms, natural light, outside views from all classrooms and activity areas, drought-tolerant landscaping and water efficient plumbing fixtures.
The entire process of McWhinney purchasing the building and then leasing it to Liberty Common School was on a fast track.
Peter Kast, a local RealTec broker and a founding board member of Liberty Common School, contacted McWhinney several months ago about the school’s intentions to expand. McWhinney’s interest in purchasing the Fort Collins property, along with the school’s expansion goals, sealed the deal. Chad Hirschfield with Fuller represented the seller to allow the transaction to take place in a short timeframe.
“The process had to move quickly since Liberty needs the building to be operational by July,” Barber said. “Fortunately, Vectra Bank closed on the project loan on June 4th, which was only a month after agreeing to preliminary terms. Vectra’s foresight and McWhinney’s vision means Liberty definitely will open the doors of its second building on time.”
For more information, call McWhinney at 970-962-9990.