D-20 to get big improvements after voters pass bond issue

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The village is one of the online programs offered through Academy Online High School at District 20.

While classes are online, students still have to meet on their temporary campus in portables outside Pine Creek High School.

“Our campus is set up like a college campus. So, we have a library, student union, and academic advising. And some parts of the day, students can choose where they want to spend their time,” said Nathan Gorsch, Academy Online High School principal.

However, teaching in portables has its challenges.

“I’ve joked that I might be the only principal that uses porta potty on occasion ’cause there is one just right outside. But we use Pine Creek’s facilities for their cafeteria, also for their restroom facilities. We also don’t have any sort of science labs and so, that’s been kind of challenging to do labs when you don’t have a sink or running water or any sort of facility like that,” Gorsch said.

With the passing of ballot measure 3A, the $230 million bond issue will help them find a permanent space.

The last time the district passed a bond was 15 years ago and this is the first time voters passed a bond by a margin of 60 to 40, making it the highest “yes” vote of any bond or mill levy in D-20’s history.

Since opening last year, the school has been adding a new grade level each year.

They hope to bring their student body count up to as much as 300 students by the time they open 12th grade.

“I used to joke there was no plan B, so it was really important for us to pass the bond because ultimately we have no permanent space. I joke that we’re a homeless school and we’re kind of couch surfing. We’re borrowing someone else’s space right now,” Gorsch said.

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