Tapestry Charter School in north Buffalo is on a mission to expand its student population. School leaders broke ground Tuesday for a new elementary building and multi-use athletic field. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says it is on the same site that the K-through 12- school.
Construction is now in full swing on Great Arrow Avenue next to the current Tapestry campus for a brand new, state-of-the-art K-through-five elementary building.
Last year's plans stirred controversy when some former Tapestry leaders consider buying a former Buffalo school building on Olympic Avenue. Some parents were outraged. They said they and did not want to have to drop off their children at two separate school sites. However, new school leadership and stakeholders ended those plans. Tapestry Executive Director Eric Klapper says they listened to families.
“It’s very important to keep our families together and we have sibling preference in our lotteries, so we do keep families together. If one child gets into the kindergartner lottery, then a sibling can go further up on the wait list and make sure we keep families together – that definitely was a voice of the parents coming forward – they wanted a K-through 12 to one, unified community,” explained Klapper.
Tapestry received a tax-exempt bond to finance the $17-million expansion project. The school is working to achieve 80-students per grade, but they need more space. Currently more than 800 students attend Tapestry in grades K-through 12.
The school is projecting that by the year 2020 there will be more than 1,000 students enrolled.
“It’s another opportunity for Tapestry to open its doors to more families and children in the city of Buffalo,” noted Jennifer Pangborn, principal for K-through 5.
Pangborn arrived in December.
“One of the reasons why I am at Tapestry is not only because of the high standards that we set, but it’s also just that social-emotional learning – we need to give them what they need most and that’s love and caring, social-emotional learning, trauma informed care and none of that learning can occur at high levels until we meet their needs,” Pangborn stated.
The new Tapestry building is expected to open August of next year.