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Guadalupe School Expansion Underway

Guadalupe School is $1.5 million away from fully funding its new 50,000 square feet learning center on Salt Lake City’s west side.  The school provides education and support for underserved infants, children, and adults, largely through donations.

School officials broke ground on the new building Friday at the location of what used to be the 17th hole of the Rose Park Golf Course. Next fall that’s where all of Guadalupe’s educational programs will be housed.  Executive Director Vicki Mori says the current 13,000 square feet building is too small to meet the school’s needs. She notes that the kindergarten through 5th grade charter school program has only one classroom per grade.

“And if our environment was a little bit bigger, we could do much more with our school, for instance having two grades. We’ll have two kindergartens, two firsts, two seconds, two thirds, fourth fifth, and we’ll actually go to the sixth grade in our new school.”

In addition to the K through 5 program, Guadalupe also provides in-home support to families with infants, toddler day care, preschool and adult English language instruction.  Nearly 100 percent of the students they serve are low-income minorities and more than half are English language learners.

Mori says the school gives those in Salt Lake City who are struggling the most, hope for success.

“Hope through education, there isn’t anything better that you can possibly have. If they have the hope that they can do it and we’ve got the education and the way to be able to teach them to do it, they’re going to be successful.”

At least 320 new students and their families will be served by the expansion. Mori says they’ll be hiring eight new teachers, four or five new aids and additional kitchen staff. 

The school has raised about $7 million so far with a goal of $8.3 million. Mori says she’s confident the community will step up to fill the gap. Anyone interested in donating money can do so at

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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