Three years ago, Westlake Charter School shouted from the rooftops that we were expanding to high school. From that day forward we have been driven by our mission to demonstrate what is possible. Our academics, athletics, and activities programs have far exceeded even our own ambitions in these first years.
Today, we will begin a discussion about some very exciting next steps regarding Westlake Charter’s high school expansion. Not only are we excited to announce a vision for a future, permanent WCHS location, but we will also demonstrate our commitment to continually improving our current high school campus.
Let’s start with the potential future location of our permanent high school campus. In surveying our community, we heard loud and clear that location matters. From that initial feedback, we realized that if our students could walk between our high school and K-8 campuses, a world of possibilities could open up for our academics, athletics, and activities programs. Since the fall of 2019, our team has been in negotiations on the only acreage in the Natomas Unified School District that meets this description.
We are excited to announce that the Westlake Charter School Governing Board of Directors approved an agreement to purchase an 8-acre undeveloped parcel of land located on what will become the intersection of Mabry Drive and Club Center Drive. This approval starts a months-long process to complete our due diligence. While no finalized architectural plans have been developed, preliminary plans demonstrate this parcel is large enough to house our high school’s academic, athletic, and activities programs while being located within walking distance of our beautiful K-8 campus.
To be clear, there are no immediate development plans for this property. Westlake will seek to collaborate with our staff, families, community stakeholders, and our authorizer in the years ahead to imagine what is possible. While this will be a long process, someday, when our two campuses are working together to serve our K-12 community, the work, and the wait, will have been worth it.
With this in mind, our commitment to continually improving our current high school campus remains as we seek to serve our high school students like only Westlake can. Thousands of students have gone to school at 4400 East Commerce in the past decade, as this space has been used by every charter school in the District at one time or another. However, no other school has invested as much into this facility as Westlake Charter has – and we are only getting started.
Our beautiful outdoor Oasis, our spacious Student Commons, and our student-centered Explorer Lounge are just a tip of the iceberg as we consider what we may do next in this facility. Westlake has invested over $150,000 in improvements for this facility and our school has just allocated tens of thousands more to develop our Library, a fully functioning Black Box Theatre, as well as improved athletics areas in the coming months.
We are also currently working with our community partners to expand this facility to meet the growing needs of our increasing student body. In 2023 we will expand to include more classrooms, more innovative spaces, and more athletics areas for our High School students.
For over a decade, Westlake Charter School has been working toward the moment when our first graduating class will walk across the stage, demonstrating our impact on this community beginning in Kindergarten and culminating with high school seniors leaving Westlake prepared to lead as Global Citizens. There have been many exciting milestones along this journey, but tonight’s next step is a special one. This week’s action by the Governing Board reaffirms our commitment to our students today and establishes a vision for our Explorers of the future.
We are excited to be purchasing a parcel of land that will become the future home of our Westlake Charter High School, and while it will take years to see this vision fully through, we remain committed to expanding and innovating in our current facility for the benefit of our entire Explorer community.
We will continue to keep our community updated as we make progress on these commitments.