A Tucson charter school will expand to the far southwest side next school year.
Academy del Sol will open its third location in July at 7102 W. Valley Crest Place, near West Valencia and South Wade roads, school officials said.
The charter school, which serves kindergarten through eighth grade, is looking to fill a void left by Hohokam Middle School, which will close next month as part of the Tucson Unified School District's budget cuts, said Sara Riegert, who co-founded Academy Del Sol with her husband, Jason.
The school will also provide an alternative to the other schools in the area, Riegert said.
"The schools that serve that community are not meeting performance requirements. Education in that area is lacking," she said.
Academy del Sol opened in August 2009 at 4525 E. Broadway.
There is another location, Academy del Sol-Hope, at 6740 S. Santa Clara Ave., near Interstate 19 and Valencia Road, which opened in August 2010.
The school received a "B" rating for 2011-12 from the Arizona Department of Education.
Both locations currently have less than 100 students combined, but the new facility will accommodate 474 students, she said.
Academy del Sol focuses on fine arts, academics and "practical" life skills such as budgeting, conducting job interviews and etiquette.
The school's two facilities have piano labs and offer instruction five days a week.
The school also offers free all-day kindergarten, a free and reduced lunch program, and a school day that's a hour and 15 minutes longer than most schools.
School officials want to develop a dance and theater department, as well as visual arts and music programs at the new location, she said.
"The goal is to offer the same model to a new demographic," she said.
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