The nearly 330 students at KIPP Columbus (aka KIPP Journey Academy) currently learn in a former city school facility. The building itself leaves much to be desired, but KIPP Columbus has made it their dutiful home since the fall of 2008, KIPP’s first year of operation. Since that time, the board and KIPP team have been focused on doing what is best for their students by pushing them to work hard, focusing on results, and helping them climb the mountain to and through college. KIPP’s students come from traditionally underserved backgrounds with nearly 90 percent of the student population economically disadvantaged.
Our Ohio team had the good fortune of spending a morning at the construction site of the KIPP Columbus campus at the former Bridgeview Golf Course. The new campus, roughly five miles north of its present location, is set to open this fall. (Fordham proudly sponsors KIPP.) We met with Hannah Powell, the executive director of KIPP Columbus, who gave us the scoop on the new school and a guided tour of the site. The campus will integrate safety, technology, and learning design with ample room for collaboration, small group activity and community spaces. Throughout the building, the natural landscape is emphasized, with plentiful open space and large windows that allow for natural lighting, and there are plans for using the surroundings for STEM- and environmental-focused education elements.
Things are moving fast. From the purchase of the property in summer of 2013 to a nearly round-the-clock construction site, KIPP is focused on getting KIPPsters into the new school by next fall. Hannah pointed out, "There is no time to lose, and we are dedicated to making certain our students can move into this incredible place on time."
“The support the community has provided for this project has been tremendous,” said Hannah. “KIPP was founded on the belief that all students in our community should have access to transformational education that empowers them with the knowledge, skills, and character necessary for success in college and in life. We know this new facility will be a game changer for so many young people and we cannot wait to welcome even more students into the KIPP Team and Family.”
As we toured the amazing new campus with its scenic views and natural features, it brought home that the KIPP Columbus family—the staff, governing board, KIPP families, hard-working students, and the Columbus community—are truly making this mission a reality.
Check out our Facebook page for more pictures of our tour of the construction site!
Artist’s rendering of the KIPP elementary and middle school. Photo courtesy of KIPP Columbus.
The main entrance to the new KIPP Columbus elementary and middle school.
Walking the halls of the new school