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Beaumont charter school seeing increase in enrollment
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
If you've driven down Calder in Beaumont, you may have noticed an additional building next to Harmony Science Academy.
Students begin classes there next Wednesday and the new school year isn't the only thing they're excited about.
Basketball practice isn't new for the Harmony team, but this place is.
"It's really great to have a new gym, we get to host our own tournaments, we get to play on our court, we don't have to pay someone else," Martin Montgomery, a 9th grader at Harmony says.
It's been in the works for a few years now.
"In 2010, we didn't have anything and kids were begging me," Danny McClintock, the athletic director said.
Begging might have helped a bit.
Construction started last school year, today it's open.
"Honestly I was jumping up and down and I was hugging my coach and I was one of the kids who wanted to start basketball," Montgomery said.
He's wanted it for years and now he's also looking forward to playing time with more teammates.
"This school is growing enormously, it's getting bigger every year," Montgomery says.
Enrollment is on the rise at Harmony Science Academy, last year they had 480 students.
Next year 550 are starting, that's a 14 percent increase, and they're not slowing down, they've got about 300 students on the waiting list.
"With this growth rate, we definitely need a high school building so that's the long term plan," Eddie Murati, the school principal says.
For now, teachers are focusing on there classrooms and the students coming in.
"It is the quality of classes here, the student centered approach, we are about helping every single student achieve and that's what we believe here," Murati explains.
It's a belief students are buying into on and off the court.
"Most our classes is like a family because we get to know everybody for years and years and years until we graduate," Kristian Thomas, a sophomore student says.
"Not too big but not too small, everyone here loves each other and it's a very good feeling," Montgomery says.
Harmony Science Academy is a charter school, which is a smaller public school funded by taxpayer dollars.
It was chosen to be in the top 10 percent of all Texas public schools by the TEA.