Tempe Prep unveils upgrades made possible by $7.5M fundraising drive

A rendering of the new Arts and Sciences Center at Tempe Prep. — Photos courtesy Tempe Preparatory Academy

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The hard work behind a $7.5 million fund drive came to fruition May 20 at Tempe Preparatory Academy when its new 2-story, 20,000-square-foot Fine Arts and Sciences Center and 3,000-square-foot Athletic Performance Center were dedicated.

The improvement project includes a renovated faculty building and study hall and expanded student center.

Tempe Prep spokeswoman Karin Moffitt said improvements include an enhanced campus profile along Southern Avenue, as well as modernized fencing and gates to enclose the campus.

The Fine Arts and Sciences Center more than doubles the space of current art classrooms and science labs. According to Moffitt, additional space for music, art and drama allow students to better experience those disciplines.

For students exploring science, more space for lab work provides training in scientific observation, help crystalizing concepts, improving cognitive thinking and arousing students’ interest—essential to advanced honors chemistry and biology courses.

(From left) Former Tempe Prep headmaster Hugh Hallman, Tempe Prep president of the Board of Directors Augustus Shaw, headmaster Dr. Wayne Porter, capital campaign committee chair Karen Snyder and Waltz Construction principal Matt Waltz attended groundbreaking at the now-complete additions and upgrades on the Tempe Prep campus.

The new Fine Arts and Sciences Center is home to the school’s enhanced college and career center, which includes a resource library and space for academic and college counseling. Additionally, it provides a location for colleges to conduct prospective-student interviews on campus, as well as dedicated computers for students to use to research colleges and fill out college applications.

The new Athletic Performance Center has 3,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. It is being called a critical step that the school needed in order to improve its students’ athletic performance and reduce injuries. Students may access the facility year round.

Also, renovations to an existing building create a new faculty building and study hall, according to Moffitt. This change is aimed at providing easier student access to teachers, incorporate faculty-student meeting and tutoring rooms, and create space for faculty collaboration, among other features.

The auditorium now can accommodate the entire student body and faculty and doubles as a multipurpose space, Moffitt said.

Tempe Prep, founded in 1996,  was awarded one of the first mandates to operate as an open-enrollment charter school in Arizona. It has been recognized by Newsweek magazine as among the best high schools in the nation, and in Arizona by the Board of Regents.

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