Salvation Army breaks ground on new Marian Pritchett School

Posted at 5:18 PM, Oct 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-12 19:18:25-04

A Boise school for pregnant and parenting teens in the Treasure Valley will soon have a new home. The Salvation Army broke ground Thursday, Oct. 12, on a new location for the Marian Pritchett School.

With the toss of a little dirt, the $8.5 million project to construct a new building for the Marian Pritchett school officially began. The goal is to build a new, modern, efficient building to replace the current facility.

"The old facility still has a steam boiler for heating the building and no air conditioning, so in the summer days, even the late spring days, it gets a little toasty," said Maj. Michael Zielinski, Divisional Commander with The Salvation Army. "So this is a much-needed renovation and improvement."

A partnership between The Salvation Army and the Boise School District, students can earn their high school diplomas with on-site day care for their babies. 

Pregnant or teen parents from outside the district can attend, too. And with around 250 teenage girls giving birth every year in Ada County, space is limited in the current, 96-year-old building. 

"[We'll] not just serve within Boise, but be able to serve outside of Boise and into other counties, as well," Zielinski said. "We know the need is there across southern Idaho, so this is an opportunity to help other girls with the program." 

With a current enrollment cap of 50 students, the new campus will be able to accomodate up to 125 teens. 

Construction is scheduled to begin in late February of 2018.

The Building Futures Campaign Cabinet raised $7.3 million of the total amount, so the fundraising is far from over. An additional $1.2 million needs to be raised to help fund the campus gymnsium, play fields and community-use classrooms.