Alturas International Academy

Alturas International Academy

Making the Impossible A Reality

Alturas International Academy found the building of its dreams, but procuring it seemed impossible. Then Building Hope stepped in.

Building Hope’s Role:

Finance & Real Estate Development

Location: Idaho Falls, ID
Grades Served: K-8
Number of Students: 566
Square feet of space created: 58,000
Year completed: 2017

They just didn't give up.

I’ll never forget them calling me and saying, “We’re gonna move forward.”

Michelle Ball
Executive Director, Alturas International Academy, Idaho

For an Idaho Falls School, Persistence Pays Off

Alturas International Academy had launched as a 25-student home school in downtown Idaho Falls. It was a success …but could it transition to a full-service, full-facility charter school? It could with Building Hope by its side.

A 24-year veteran of Idaho Falls public schools, Michelle Ball founded Alturas (Spanish for “great heights”) in 2015, after parents continually came to her with concerns for a change in education. “One day out of the blue I just said it: ‘Let’s start a charter school!’” she recalls.

Growth came quickly, bringing with it the need for a permanent facility. Ball set her sights on O.E. Bell, a 1929 school that the district had abandoned a decade before. “It felt like a pipe dream,” Ball says. 

But then two things happened. First, Alturas received a million-dollar grant from the Albertson Foundation. Then, Albertson connected Ball with Building Hope—who wouldn’t take no for an answer. Alturas thought the game was over when the school district bid against them; Building Hope didn’t flinch. “They just didn’t give up,” says Ball. “I’ll never forget them calling me and saying, ‘We’re gonna move forward.’” In July 2016, Alturas won the building. 

Building Hope then oversaw its renovation (funded by the Albertson grant), completed in time for 400 students to begin the 2017-18 school year.

Two years later, Alturas International Academy is at its capacity of 566 students, with another 500 students on their waitlist. It serves a wide-ranging community with test scores well above Idaho’s state average (and rising).

The school that’s right for your students

The new building allowed the school to grow its impact from 250 students to 566 students.

Expertise and know-how

They really had a handle on what needed to be done. They had the expertise that we could trust.

Michelle Ball
Executive Director, Alturas International Academy

Share This