Update: With final approval, new charter school set to open this fall

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New Summit Charter Academy announced it has been approved by Academy School District 20 and is set to open with about 500 students in August.

The ASD20 school board gave conditional approval last October for New Summit to open this fall. Conditions included a requirement that the school register 356 students by March 22.

New Summit’s original application had been denied in December 2016 by the ASD20 board, which cited concerns that the application needed more work and time.

“The Board will not take additional action,” ASD20 Director of Communications Allison Cortez said. “NSCA has met the conditions of the conditional approval that was passed by Board resolution on October 19, 2017. We anticipate the contract to be finalized by signatures this week.”

Because it met the enrollment requirement by March 22, New Summit will also receive a Colorado Department of Education Startup Grant, worth approximately $680,000 over three years. The grant was announced in January, but access to the funds was conditioned on meeting the enrollment threshold.

New Summit has its campus at 7899 Lexington Drive, in the Briargate neighborhood.

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“As the first new charter school in D20 in 20 years, we are excited for the opportunity for the many families who have not had a viable charter option for their kids,” the announcement on New Summit’s website said.

Enrollment will continue for students of all districts and grades K-6 until March 30, the announcement added. After that, enrollments will be done on a space available basis.

According to a news release issued by Northstar Commercial Partners, the school signed a long-term lease with Northstar for the property, formerly occupied by NavPress. New Summit will fill about half of the 76,000-square-foot building by the time it opens, with additional expansions yearly until the school occupies the entire facility.

According to the release, Northstar originally purchased the vacant building for another charter school that was not approved, and has been working since that time to find another tenant. Buildout on the facility is underway, with a projected completion date in July.

The school will open initially for kindergarten through 6th grade and will add one grade per year. A high school is planned as a separate, future application, according to the New Summit website.

“It’s been a long process, and we worked really hard to get to this point,” said Rick Van Wieren, chairman of the organizing committee, in a blog post.