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Thank You Voters! Opening Our New Academy Building

Students, Staff, and Community Members Cut the Ribbon to New Kent Laboratory Academy

Front of building ribbon cuttingKent School District leaders, Kent Laboratory Academy staff, and community leaders opened the doors to the new Kent Laboratory Academy campus on Saturday, August 28. They explored the new building and thanked voters for their support of the 2016 Bond initiative which provided funding for this new building.

“A brand new school building is only possible because of our community's investment in education and in the future of our students. This beautiful new building is a physical representation of our commitment to students and families to provide the best possible learning environment in successfully preparing all students for their futures,” Interim Superintendent Israel Vela said.

"We are here to open this brand-new, beautiful school building where children in our community can learn, grow, and reach or exceed their educational goals and dreams," Principal Stephanie Knipp said. "The school motto is “innovating for all learners” and this new building will certainly support the personalized learning environments provided by the programs and partnerships of this school."

School Board Director Joe Bento presented a plaque commemorating the opening of the new school and thanked voters for bringing the state-of-the-art building to life.

"Congratulations and we hope this building will serve our community well in preparing our students for their futures," he said.

City of Kent Mayor Dana Ralph spoke about the importance of the new school in setting the standard for the growing Kent community and helping to further raise the bar for our students. 

A State-of-the-Art Learning Space

Students drawing on boardThe building was designed by Hutteball and Oremus Architecture and built by Comer General Contractors. It features a stage, music room, thirteen classrooms, four storefront teaching spaces, two science labs, two project labs, and four flex spaces for a total of twenty-seven teaching spaces, plus the Multipurpose Room and a library with two additional areas for instruction. The vestibule at the entrance is an added safety feature to allow all visitors to pass through the front office before entering the school. 

It has a capacity of 456 students and 40 staff members, as well as a capacity of 226 in the Multipurpose Room. This building was designed with anticipation and room to expand both the first and second floors West of area D to increase capacity and teaching spaces in the future.

Each classroom and lab has its own Air Handling Unit placed just outside of the classroom for individual air supply and easy access for maintenance without disruption to areas of instruction. Each space is equipped with an interactive Promethean Panel for instruction and presentation.

The staff lounge was intentionally designed to have a different feel than the rest of the building to allow the teachers take their break and relax. All furniture is versatile in its use and can be configured in many different ways to suit the education and collaborative environments.
 

The “Lab” Experience: A Decidedly Different School for Students in Grades 3-12   

The Kent Laboratory Academy (formerly Kent Mountain View and Phoenix Academies) is an innovative school providing students and families with an option in public education. In partnership with local universities, this academy provides a more richly staffed and resourced school to actualize a personalized learning environment by enriching the curriculum, instruction, and assessment.    

To honor a whole child approach, Kent Laboratory Academy is committed to building on the strengths of our students and their families to meet their needs. Kent Laboratory comprises ten grade levels and six distinct programs that are rooted in personalized learning. At Kent Laboratory Academy, each program provides a decidedly different school experience for students and families who are seeking an alternative to their boundary school. Our small school size fosters authentic, meaningful relationships and mirrors the district’s demographics to pilot and innovate. Coupled with our unique structure, student learning is anchored in programs and environments that support a focused identity and clear outcomes.