GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A $4 to $5 million project that will more than double the size the West Michigan Aviation Academy campus will allow the aviation-themed school to accommodate 600 students, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

The charter public high school, founded by businessman Dick DeVos in 2010, is located at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport and currently enrolls 145 students, The Press reported.

CEO Patrick J. Cwayne Sr. attributed the school’s popularity to a rigorous curriculum and smaller school environment, The Press reported. Students take traditional courses as well as aviation-related classes ranging from robotics to maintenance to engineering, according to the report.

The Federal Aviation Administration, Kent County Aeronautics Board and the school’s authorizer, Bay Mills Community College, all must approve the expansion before construction can begin next year, The Press reported.

SOURCES:

The Grand Rapids Press, “Aviation-themed high school plans big expansion as interest grows,” Nov. 30, 2011

FURTHER READING:

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Free Press misleads on charter schools,” Dec. 1, 2011

Michigan Education Digest, “Charter schools begin to specialize,” Sept. 1, 2010

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