Downtown school John Rex has announced the location of its new middle school – in the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
A $1 million grant from Inasmuch Foundation will help fund the addition of the middle-school grades, with the first class of sixth graders set to start in the fall of 2018.
Inasmuch Foundation is also committing a capital improvement grant up to $700,000 for enhancements to the garden’s educational spaces.
“Families of current JRCES students have repeatedly asked the school to create a path for their children from pre-K all the way through high school,” says JRCES Head of School Joe Pierce. “We are thrilled to expand our launch pad of learning and discovery in the gardens.”
The middle school classes will use the lower level classrooms and event spaces under the Crystal Bridge inside the Myriad Garden’s Dean A. McGee Center, according to the school.
JRCES Board Chairman Kirk Humphreys said the expansion fulfills a long-time dream, adding, “Our school’s concept has always been about providing an exemplary learning environment for an economically and racially diverse group of students. Expanding the unique public-private partnership that fuels our mission will provide a huge boost for our community.”
Inasmuch Foundation’s grant to JRCES will be paid out over four years, and provides funds to hire staff, including an assistant head of school who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the middle school.
Inasmuch Foundation President and CEO Bob Ross says, “A major catalyst for John Rex Elementary’s early success was its partnership with the downtown community.
“On any given day you can see Rex Rockets walking to the downtown library, Oklahoma City Museum of Art or Film Row. The partnership with Myriad Gardens will further John Rex’s roots in the community and continue a truly unique urban education.”
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