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Charter group is building campus for its third school in Baton Rouge, La.

Feb. 3, 2021
IDEA University Prep will be a 75,000-square-foot facility.

A Texas-based charter school group is preparing to open its fourth school in Louisiana and third in Baton Rouge later this year.

The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that the $17 million facility, which is under construction, will be known as IDEA University Prep. The name is a nod to Baton Rouge University Prep, or UP Elementary, a school that IDEA took over last summer.

IDEA, a charter group headquartered in Weslaco, Texas, has two schools in Baton Rouge—IDEA Bridge and IDEA Innovation—which both opened in 2018.

The newly constructed campus will absorb UP Elementary and add upper grades.

UP Elementary is next door to the new school site. It had plans to build a 40,000 square-foot facility at that location, but the new facility never got off the ground.

Although the new 75,000-square-foot, two-story facility can house 1,000-plus students, IDEA University Prep is aiming for about 450 students next year, with more students enrolling over time,  said Ken Campbell, executive director of IDEA Public Schools Louisiana

UP Elementary’s 300-plus students will remain part of the new school. Its 50-plus fifth-graders can continue onto the new sixth grade, rather than having to transfer to another school for middle school. If they stay long enough, they can be part of IDEA University Prep’s Class of 2028 graduating class.

Like the two other IDEA schools in Baton Rouge, the new one was designed by the Grace Hebert Curtis architectural firm. The general contractor is Buquet & LeBlanc.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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