CASA GRANDE — A new 8,000-square-foot gymnasium at Grande Innovation Academy has students climbing to new heights.

Named the “Owl’s Nest” after the school mascot, the new gymnasium includes a rock climbing structure that runs along one interior wall.

Grande Innovation Academy Director Patty Messer said the students are excited about the rock climbing wall and the new gym, which will be used for the school’s physical education classes.

“We offer physical education every day,” Messer said. “We also offer middle school sports, competing in the Canyon Athletic Association.”

The gymnasium includes a stage for school performances and a high-end audio-visual system.

While the gymnasium is a separate structure from the school building, it will eventually be connected to classrooms.

Construction on an 8,600-square-foot classroom wing began this month. When finished, it will have eight new classrooms and be connected to the new gym via a breezeway.

“That’ll be finished by August,” Messer said.

The new classrooms will house grades five through eight, the school’s gifted program and its Path-to-Potential program.

Grande Innovation Academy, a charter school at 950 N. Peart Road, was constructed in 2013 and opened later that year as Odyssey Preparatory Academy.

In 2015, Messer acquired a new charter for the school and it was renamed Grande Innovation Academy.

The school expects 700 students to be enrolled next year.

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