Peoria Unified opens SMart Center for students - AZEdNews
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Peoria Unified opens SMart Center for students


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  • Danielle Airey   |   Peoria Unified School District

Ceramics Teacher Frank Eager With Students Inside A Classroom At The Newly Opened Sunrise Mountain Art Center (SMart Center) For Students On The Campus Of Sunrise Mountain High School. Photo Courtesy Of Peoria Unified School District

The Peoria Unified School District opened the Sunrise Mountain Art Center (SMart Center) on Monday for students on the campus of Sunrise Mountain High School.

The newly renovated building is opening seven months ahead of schedule and was completed on-budget.

The building will be able to serve approximately 200 students in five separate classroom spaces with art, ceramics and basic and advanced photography. The space is complete with a digital and wet lab for photography students.

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Photography teacher Mateusz Wisniewski greets students in class at Sunrise Mountain Art Center. Photo courtesy Peoria Unified School District

The design also includes community spaces and the district will soon seek opportunities to rent open spaces to community organizations and to host enrichment classes for students beyond the school day.

Moving Sunrise Mountain’s visual arts programming into the new SMart Center allows for additional space for general education classrooms at Sunrise Mountain High School, expanding capacity by approximately 250 students.

The decision to convert the previous Challenger Space Center, which the district acquired through a land swap agreement, came after careful consideration and input from the community. The team from Orcutt Winslow and Sun Valley Construction worked on the project to convert the 25,000 square foot building into a space for student learning.

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Art supplies are ready for students at Sunrise Mountain Art Center. Photo courtesy Peoria Unified School District

Additional details are forthcoming regarding an official ribbon-cutting event, which will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, and include tours of the facility.

Peoria Unified School District is nestled in the Northwest Valley of Peoria, Arizona and is home to 42 stellar public schools that are unique and created to fit the needs of all students. Peoria Unified is the choice district for more than 37,000+ students and 4,000 staff, serving as one of the largest employers in the West Valley and one of the largest unified school districts in Arizona.

The district has signature programs spread out between 34 kindergarten through eighth-grade elementary schools and eight high schools that excel in academics, arts, athletics and Career and Technical Education programs. The Strategic Plan outlines a laser focus on four key areas: Student Success, Safety and Well-Being, Stewardship of Community Resources and Community Connection.

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Inside the dark room where photography students will work on their projects at Sunrise Mountain Art Center. Photo courtesy Peoria Unified School District

Above all, Peoria Unified is committed to transparency, parent involvement and ensuring that “Every Student, Every Day is Prepared to Shape Tomorrow.”

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Ceramics teacher Frank Eager with students inside a classroom at the newly opened Sunrise Mountain Art Center (SMart Center) for students on the campus of Sunrise Mountain High School. Photo courtesy of Peoria Unified School District