LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – A local school, Hillside Montessori of LaGrange, is expanding its location and will sit on its own campus by the end of the year. The Montessori school is an independent school that focuses on each student’s individual needs and emphasizes the importance of student based learning.

Bethany Headrick, the Executive Director of Hillside Montessori of LaGrange, said the school has a great support system from the community and has raised a lot of the money for the new campus through grants and private donors.

“We really want the campus to reflect our philosophy and our curriculum and that is based on a child-centered, student led education and based on things also being very hands-on and interactive so that students are engaged and empowered throughout the process of learning,” said Headrick.

Headrick hopes to have the new location completed by December 2022 but knows that is subject to change depending on different circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new facility is expected to cost $6.5 million by its completion and the campus will have 13.6 acres of land. This will be the fourth location the Montessori school will be moving to due to its constant growth.

The building will be about 17,000 square feet with a community center, performing arts center and six classroom communities that will include outdoor classrooms. There will be two kitchens in the school that will be available for use by both children and adults. There will also be a new toddler program starting where students can be enrolled at 18 months and other features unique to the Montessori school.

“I think that our parents see the benefit in having a location that belongs to us so we can create a campus that is designed to enhance and support the Montessori curriculum,” said Headrick.

Robyn Morgan, the mother of a student at Hillside Montessori of LaGrange, said she and her family are excited for the new campus so her daughter can begin to experience the authentic Montessori experience.

“That’s one thing that drew me to Montessori in the beginning was not just educational but life skills. The first time she really learned how to clean up after herself was at school so she cleaned windows and mopped. They teach them table manners, how to fold their napkins properly, she started sewing at school. These are things that if you don’t do it as a parent they don’t really learn these skills but at Montessori they have the ability to do that,” said Morgan.

Morgan said her daughter is most excited for the performing arts center that will be built on the new campus due to her active involvement in the musical theater program.