District opens new Expedition Academy
What once was a place of worship and reverence has become a place for learning.
Construction on Expedition Academy’s new home on Upland Way completed and the school district celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday.
Steve Core, chairman of the Sweetwater County School District No. 2 Board of Education said the completed school is a “win, win, win, win” for the United Methodist Church, the state, the district and the community. The building originally originally served as a church, which closed in 2013. The school district and church officials negotiated a sale, which was approved by the state school facilities commission.
“It (the proposal) speaks well for school district no.2,” Sheriff Mike Lowell said. “Donna Little-Kaumo did an exceptional job recognizing the opportunity and saving the state money.”
Lowell also serves on the school facilities commission and helped approve the purchase and renovation.
Donna Little-Kaumo, superintendent for the school district, said the state saved roughly $10 million in the deal. As opposed to building a new school, the district was able to renovate an existing structure to fit Expedition Academy’s needs.
Ruth Casey, one of the United Methodist Church’s members, said the building’s interior looks completely foreign to her now. She said she’s happy to see the building receive continued use.
Ralph Obray, Expedition Academy’s principal, said he’s anticipated the building’s completion since taking over as the school’s principal last year. He said students took a tour of the building last spring and were able to host their prom at the site as well.
“They wanted a place to call home, and this is it,” Obray said.