Mock Disaster (copy)

In this file photo, taken April 27, 2018, Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School juniors Hannah Keep and Katie Ellis participate in a mock disaster at the school. School staff plan to add two classrooms to the building — completing construction in August 2020.

Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School is outgrowing its building.

The 200-student high school, just north of Ustick Road on North Locust Grove Road, is looking to add two more classrooms.

The space is especially needed for the school’s emergency medical technician and certified nursing assistant capstone programs, said Louis Pifher, board president of the school.

“It’s just not meeting the needs of our professional technical programs in getting those students prepared the way they should be,” Pifher said. “We’re making do, but it is just not right.”

The two programs share a room, making it tough to fit students, desks and equipment, such as gurneys, in the space. The 2,100-square-foot addition would allow the school to expand both programs into their own classroom, and add space for a new rehabilitation service capstone program. Staff also plan to build a new computer lab, transforming the old lab into an extra classroom for a teacher who’s been without one for five years, principal Dawnetta Earnest said.

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The school began leasing the facility from the West Ada School District when it opened in 2003.

The expansion was approved by the West Ada school board on Tuesday. Earnest didn’t have a cost estimate for the expansion. She anticipates the addition would be finished by August 2020.

Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School is part of the West Ada School District, but is run by its own board. Building costs would come out of the school’s budget, not West Ada’s, Earnest said. The school’s operating costs are covered by funding they receive from the state.

Under their lease with the district, the school is in charge of building improvements, maintenance and upgrades, Earnest said.

The expansion would not allow the school to add any students.

Patty Bowen is the Meridian Press reporter. You can reach her at pbowen@idahopress.com or follow her on Twitter @pattybowenMP.

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