As Headwaters Academy experiences record growth, the school plans to move to the north side of town.
Headwaters, an independent, secular middle school, hopes to be in its new space at 1005 Durston Road in time for the 2020-2021 school year, according to head of school Dave Provost.
The school was on West Garfield Street for for about 28 years and has recently been operating out of Hope Lutheran Church.
Some offices are being housed in a historic home at the Durston Road location. The log building is said to have once been the home of John Durston, a Syracuse newspaper editor hired by Montana copper king Marcus Daly to be editor of the Anaconda Standard.
Headwaters plans to keep that house intact and add a building for classrooms behind it, Provost said. One of the reasons Headwaters was attracted to the location was for the large presence of open space right in town.
“So our plan is to retain that open space as much as we can in order to preserve the character of that property,” he said. “One of the most important parts to us is the integrity of indoor and outdoor spaces.”
Provost said the move was made possible by some major donations to the school, and it came at a good time. There are 60 students attending the school this year, the highest enrollment in its history.
It had to split its sixth-grade class into two sections instead of one, and there is a waitlist for the seventh and eighth grades. The seventh-grade class will also split into two sections next year, Provost said.
Provost attributes the school’s increased enrollment to growth in Bozeman and also greater awareness of the school and its programs. He thinks the new location will make the school even more recognizable. Over the next several years, Headwaters hopes to expand enrollment to 90 students.
With a new greenhouse and plenty of outdoor space, Provost said the new location should help the school add programs.
“Having that natural environment to utilize and incorporate into the existing program will certainly give us the opportunity to get kids out in the field and working with the natural environment that’s on the new campus,” he said.