In an attempt to keep up with its expanding student population, Torah Day School of Phoenix is installing five modular buildings to its campus.
“Right now we have 340 students and that does include the students in our preschool,” said Gaby Friedman, the director of TDSP’s Business Office. “We didn’t have enough capacity on the campus for our students, so we’ve added new classrooms and spaces for them and our teachers.”
Altogether, the new buildings will contain three classrooms, an art room, a science room, a library, teachers lounges and a multipurpose room for assemblies. The new additions will add more than 8,000 square feet to the school’s campus.
The expansion is expected to be completed within the next month. All of the modular buildings have been assembled and the school is doing final renovations for the classrooms.
Friedman — who also serves as the school’s vice president — opened Torah Day School in her home in 2010 with her husband, David. It started with just seven boys in kindergarten. Friedman said that the school has seen exciting levels of growth since they first opened. In 2011, enrollment reached 80 students and the school moved to the campus of Beth El Congregation.
The modular building expansion came thanks to the Arizona Community Foundation; earlier this year, the ACF approved a $406,000 loan for capacity expansion from its Community Impact Loan Fund.
This is the second time the school has received a loan from the ACF. In 2016, the Torah Day School received $400,000 from a partnership between Community Impact Loan Fund and Dignity Health for campus expansion in response to enrollment growth. The buildings were initially anticipated to be installed by 2018, but a second loan was eventually required to finish development next month.
TDSP borrowed from ACF due to the amount of money they needed for the campus expansion. Friedman said that organizations such as Jewish Free Loan — although helpful to the school in other ways — weren’t able to provide the sum needed. JFL has caps on the amount for its loans.
The new space was definitely needed for both the students and the teachers, said TDSP Head of School Rabbi Shmuel Field.
“Everyone is super excited to get these new buildings,” Field said. “The students on campus are buzzing and the teachers are looking forward to having the buildings. All the teachers were cramped up in a room and now they’ll have a lot more space for their work.”
He added that the new expansion will prepare the school for as many students as possible. The school is approved to have 500 students and Friedman thought that the school could comfortably take in another 50.
Whatever the future holds, Friedman said that the school will be in stronger shape now.
“I feel like we’re accommodating our students better now that the campus is bigger,” Friedman said. “I hope that this will create a more inviting space for our students and that their parents will see that we are taking great care of them.” JN