Building on Success - A Permanent Home for Miriam Academy
Miriam Academy was opened in fall 2016, in response to demand from Miriam School and Learning Center parents and endorsement of community social service professionals. Through a recent successful $10 million comprehensive campaign, $5 million was earmarked for Academy start-up funds and endowed scholarships. This beneficence allowed Miriam leadership to lease space in the educational wing of Parkway United Church of Christ on Ballas Road in Town & Country, Missouri.
With a current third year enrollment of 54 in grades 9-11, the Academy is quickly running out of space. Plans are in place to add a 12th grade class in 2019 and to serve 100 students by 2023, but we are already ahead of initial projections. The Academy can operate for just one more school year at the current site before becoming overcrowded.
The time has come to find a permanent home for Miriam Academy. Over the past two years, several promising options were investigated to lease, only to require substantially more in renovation costs and/or lease rates than Miriam could justify.
Last fall, an ideal site was identified at the former B’nai El Congregation, located in Frontenac and Westwood Village, on 5.75 acres in a 28,700 square foot building. Total costs to purchase the property and renovate the building are estimated at $7.5 million and would allow Miriam to meet the needs of our students for years to come.
A permanent site designed specifically for the educational and programmatic needs of our students will play an influential role in enrolling students and sustaining the mission of the Academy.
Additionally, the site offers a centrally located, quiet, safe, park-like and academically appropriate space for our teens.
What started with only ten students in a church basement just over two years ago has more than quadrupled, with anxious families waiting in the wings to see what will happen with a permanent location. When families discover there is a high school, a community of expert educators and compassionate supporters that accepts, embraces, and educates their beautifully complex children, it literally changes their lives.
Now is the time to finish what Miriam successfully started – by finding a permanent home for the Academy, its students, teachers and families. With this campus, Miriam Academy will send a clear, comforting message that it– like Miriam School – will be here for decades to come.
In April 2019, the City of Frontenac unanimously approved a conditional use permit to allow Miriam Academy to locate in the former B’nai El Congregation building.
The Village of Westwood held their quarterly meeting and public hearing on the project on April 23, but have yet to vote on the issue. Discussion will be continued, and hopefully a vote taken at the upcoming meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, May 21 at 5pm, in the East Lounge of Westwood Country Club, located at 11801 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO 63131.
How Can I Help?
If you are a Village of Westwood resident: Attend the meeting and sign up to speak in support of Miriam.
OR Email or write the Trustees in support of the project.
It is important that Village of Westwood residents have the opportunity to speak and be heard at the hearing.
If you are not a Village of Westwood resident: Attend the meeting to show your support but please allow residents to speak.
"The creation of Miriam Academy is enabling these students to continue their education in an environment that nurtures their unique ways to flourish and succeed. The only thing missing is a forever home for all the lucky students today and for the future."
Miriam Academy Grandparent