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Aspen Community meets BEST match

Aspen Community School has beaten the odds and raised the $4.9 million needed to match a $4.2 million construction grant from the state’s Building Excellent Schools Today program.

The school has been something of a poster child for the difficulties some charters face in raising matching funds for BEST grants.

Aspen Community is a 127-student K-8 charter in the rural Woody Creek area. It tried for a BEST grant three times before winning one last August, but it still had to appeal to the state construction board to lower the original, higher match requirement. The school plans to improve its hilltop campus, which is centered on a log building more than four decades old.

The school is working to raise an additional $2.5 million for other campus improvements and hopes to do that by September 2014. Groundbreaking is planned for spring 2014.

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