by Timothy Rutt
The Aveson Charter School plans to lease the long-under-construction building on Altadena Drive and Lincoln Avenue, ending three years of frustration with the property.
Executive Director Kate Bean said that the school hopes to move its Aveson Global Leadership Academy middle- and high-school classes into the building in September, numbering under 300 students -- 200 grades 6-8, about 100 for grades 9-12. Plans for the facility not only include classrooms, but, Bean said, "a small café open to the public, where the students will learn how to run a business -- we'll tie into into culinary arts, healthy living, and entrepreneurship."
Bean said that "traffic will be our number one issue that we'll have to stay on top of" for the site. Bean said that they plan to stagger their opening and closing times with the nearby Odyssey Charter School to avoid traffic gridlock, and are already starting conversations with the California Highway Patrol and Altadena Sheriff's Station about traffic control in the area.
"We're excited -- we're hoping it's a good addition, it's a lovely area," Bean said.
Moving into the facility ends three years of plans and speculation for the school. Aveson, which also consists of the Aveson School For Leaders (grades K-5), started in the old Noyes school building in East Altadena, and was looking at various options as it wanted to expand into grades 6-12. The commercial building was a "go" as of early 2010, with the school holding a neighborhood "meet and greet' in May at Loma Alta Park. However, the planned construction to the facility never occurred under the previous owner, and the plans remained in abeyance as the property was put on the market.
In the meantime, the grade 6-12 Global Leadership Academy moved to the Boys and Girls Club, and then to Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church in Pasadena, here it meets today.
Los Angeles developer Steve Torkian closed on the property in November, Kate said, and "we kept talking to him and telling him the ideas we had for it," Bean said. The new owner will complete tenant improvements, landscape the area, and put up new and more attractive fencing, Bean said. Bean said that, as it was already a commercial area, they did not need to get a conditional use permit for the facility.