DaVinci breaks ground on new school in Ham Lake

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

Kindergartner Mikey Mannella struggled to hold a shovel taller than he was before sending dirt flying June 20.

DaVinci students participate in a groundbreaking ceremony June 20. Photo by Olivia Alveshere
DaVinci students participate in a groundbreaking ceremony June 20. Photo by Olivia Alveshere

Mikey was one of dozens of DaVinci Academy students who participated in a groundbreaking ceremony June 20 at the future home of the school.

Since 2008, the charter school has operated at 13001 Central Ave. in Blaine. Approximately 430 K-8 students attend school there with a waiting list of more than 250 students.

To accommodate more students and possibly open a high school in years to come, the charter school is moving ahead with plans to build a new school at 532 Bunker Lake Blvd. in Ham Lake.

DaVinci Academy students, staff and supporters gathered June 20, many taking a first look at the property where they will spend years of their life.

A 104,000-square-foot, three-story building is set to be constructed by the Rochon Corporation over the next year, opening in time for the 2017-2018 school year.

“We have all kinds of opportunities on this beautiful 20 acres,” Executive Director Debra Lach said, inviting families to explore the newly acquired property.

“You’re currently in the gym – designated gym,” Board of Directors President Ross Meisner said during the groundbreaking ceremony. “You don’t have to share it with the lunchroom any more.”

Currently, DaVinci utilizes one space as an auditorium, cafeteria and gymnasium. Three distinct spaces will exist in the new school.

A capital campaign is kicking off to develop outdoor learning spaces, according to Lach.

“We have a very exciting plan, a very exciting school, a very exciting program,” Meisner said.

Ham Lake City Council Member Al Parranto was on hand to welcome DaVinci Academy to the city.

Video courtesy of Curly Creative.

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