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Ravell Call, Deseret News
Students line the boundaries of a new school as Guadalupe School announces donations and a campaign to raise funds to build a community learning center in Salt Lake City, Thursday, July 18, 2013.

SALT LAKE CITY — A new facility for the Guadalupe School is on its way to becoming reality, with officials announcing Thursday that more than half of the school's $8.3 million fundraising goal has been met.

The school has collected $5.2 million, officials said, from individuals and organizations including the Foundation For Life, the Mark and Kathie Miller foundation, the Steiner Foundation and the Larry H Miller & Gail Miller Family Foundation. The total also includes a $1 million gift from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and $2 million from the Janet Q. Lawson Foundation.

"We still have a ways to go," Vicki Mori, executive director of the school, said. "These last dollars of the campaign can be very difficult to raise."

The Guadalupe School is both an educational facility and community center, providing services to individuals of all age levels. The school provides early education and operates a charter school for students in kindergarten through fourth grade, as well as adult education in English as a second language, family literacy and U.S. citizenship classes.

Construction on the new, 50,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to begin this fall for a planned opening the following school year. It will allow the charter school to expand to a K-6 grade configuration, with capacity for 300 additional students.

"We're leaving a 13,000-square-foot building, so it's a huge difference for us," Mori said.

Greg Summerhays, chairman of the Guadalupe School board of directors, said he was thankful for the generosity of donors and looking forward to providing more services to the community.

"We're excited to be able to finally serve more people," he said. "I'm 100 percent sure we're going to be able to meet our goal. We want the public to get involved and help us with this wonderful project."

Ellen Rossi, a trustee with the Janet Q. Lawson Foundation, said her family has long been a supporter of the Guadalupe School and the latest gift by the foundation is a continuation of that relationship.

"For us, it's a way to support them into this next phase," she said.

She said the school is unique in it's hollistic approach to education and the help it provides to the various members of community, from single mothers to school-age children to immigrant adults.

"It's training the whole family instead of just a part of it," she said.

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