Riverstone improves campus, builds dorms

Riverstone International School in Boise is about to get much bigger with two new buildings. The private school is improving its current middle and high school facility and bringing a new residential boarding building to Downtown Boise.

“This is an investment in our future,” said Bob Carignan, the head of school. “We think this will drive the growth that we have planned.”

The school has 315 students enrolled in preschool through high school. Carignan’s long-term goal is to reach 400 students.

Riverstone offers the International Baccalaureate program, which teaches to an international education standard. Twenty-six percent of the students were born in other countries or have parents from other countries.

Middle and high school building

In May, two modular buildings that were nearly 20 years old were demolished on the 14-acre campus in southeast Boise.

The space will be transformed into a 6,962-square-foot building that will include two music classrooms, a recording studio, two science classrooms, a general classroom, restrooms and two offices.

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Phase one

“Our older facilities were tampering our marketing efforts,” Carignan said.

Phase one of the expansion will cost $1.2 million, which is funded by the school’s endowment fund — boosted by private donors, the Malone Family Foundation grant and fundraising. Construction is expected to be completed winter 2016.

Phase two of the project will connect to phase one. The building will be larger and feature classrooms, a new library and community space. The project is expected to begin in three to five years and the preliminary cost is $3 million.

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Phase two

Residential boarding program

The school is establishing a residential boarding program for students in ninth through 12th grades and will open in August — in time for the start of fall classes.

“With a residential program, we will be able to offer more students the opportunity to receive an international education with Boise’s livability as a key component of their experience,” Carignan said.

The “Riverstone House” is located at 13th and River streets in Downtown Boise. Construction started on the 17,230-square-foot building on Feb. 1. The living space will house 16 students the first year and will expand to a capacity of 32 students over the next three years.

“Students will be within walking distance of downtown and the Greenbelt, and have more opportunities to become involved with local organizations,” Carignan said.

The building is being developed by ABRI Partners LLC, which will lease the second through fourth floors to Riverstone. The building will feature a shared living space and private apartments for residential life advisors on the second floor and 16 dual-occupancy rooms on the third and fourth floors. The ground floor will be used for commercial purposes.

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Riverstone House

“I think this is a groundbreaking project for Idaho,” said Rick Neser, project manager for the new development.

In the past, the school relied on host families in the area to house students attending Riverstone from outside the region. The school will continue to offer the opportunity for students participating in one-year exchange programs to live with host families.