Announcing the Plans for Liberty's Hugo Campus

Liberty Headmaster Rebekah Hagstrom unveils the short-term plan and long-term vision for the recently purchased Hugo, MN property.

IMG_0162
Homecoming Soccer Photo
IMG_5454
Screen Shot 2021-11-15 at 11.16.17 AM

F A Q   S E C T I O N

Why did Liberty purchase the Hugo property?

It has long been Liberty’s strategic plan to find a permanent location that allows for growth, and we have been actively seeking short and long-term facility solutions. In order to maintain and support a permanent location, we need to grow Liberty to a level that can sustain a permanent location for the long-term health of the school. Currently, our White Bear Lake campus does not have the capacity to accommodate additional growth, and thus we are left with an immediate facility need for the 2022-2023 school year.

 

The purchase of the Hugo campus provides a solution to both our short and long-term facility needs. Until a permanent campus is built, the existing building on the Hugo property will serve as a temporary campus that allows Liberty to continue enrollment growth without having to turn away students.

 

Our philosophy is that we don’t want to limit the number of children that receive this education, and with the demand that we’ve experienced in recent years, we know now is the best opportunity to capitalize on growth. Having access to the Hugo campus will provide the additional space needed to not only accept new enrollment, but also move us closer toward our goal of establishing a permanent facility.  

 

In addition to the purchase of the Hugo campus, Liberty has secured a contract that would allow us the first right of refusal to the sale of 30-65 additional acres abutting the new campus for expansion purposes. We intend for this to serve as the site of the permanent facility.



What is the timing for completion of the permanent campus?

The goal is 3-5 years. The sale of 30-65 additional acres abutting the Hugo property is contingent on the city of Hugo’s approval. Preliminary meetings are already underway and look favorable.

Why split campuses now and not wait for a permanent campus?

As we mentioned above, we have reached maximum capacity at the White Bear Lake campus and are currently unable to accommodate the existing demand for a Liberty Classical Academy education. In order to continue to grow, we need an immediate short-term solution for space.



Will there be transportation between campuses?

We are placing a heavy focus on a transportation plan for staff and families. We are actively engaged in looking at solutions because we realize this may present a logistical challenge, and we are committed to helping navigate solutions for our families.

 

Before and aftercare will be available at both sites beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m. We plan to have a bus provide transportation from the White Bear Lake campus to the Hugo campus in the morning, with the bus returning from the Hugo campus to the White Bear Lake campus in the afternoon. In addition, we will help facilitate carpool options for interested families.



Were other divisions of the school considered for the Hugo campus?

Absolutely. The existing Hugo campus is a former elementary school built for students 12 and younger. Various aspects of the building such as the gymnasium and bathrooms are fit for small children and would need to be drastically renovated to accommodate older students. Taking into consideration the timing and the cost to repurpose the property for older children, and given the fact that the greatest demand is in our preschool-2nd grade program, we determined the Hugo campus is best for our preschool-2nd grade program. The existing Hugo campus allows Liberty to immediately add an additional section of Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade for 2022-2023.

 

While we initially considered moving the upper school to the Hugo campus to give these students their own space, we quicky realized the facility wouldn’t readily support students of this age. Therefore, moving our preschool-2nd grade program to the Hugo campus now gives our middle and upper school program the space it needs to grow and reduce congestion at the White Bear Lake campus.



What will happen with the opened space at the White Bear Lake campus?

The opened space at the White Bear Lake campus will be utilized to provide the much-needed expansion space for our middle and upper school program. This will allow for continued growth and reduced congestion in the middle and upper school.

What exciting opportunities will there be at the White Bear Lake campus?

We are exploring options and are committed to adding a student lounge for the upper school students.

How do I get to the Hugo campus?

The address for the Hugo campus is 10158 122nd Street N, Hugo, MN 55038.

 

We are exploring transportation options for families (see transportation above). The average distance to the White Bear Lake campus for current Liberty families is 6.95 miles, and the average distance to the Hugo campus for current Liberty families is 9.07 miles (net increase of 2.12 mi to Hugo campus).

Average Drive Times from Key Intersections

o   8 minutes from 36 and Manning Avenue

o   9 minutes from 61 and 96

What do I do if I have children at both campuses?

We are committed to helping all of our families navigate transportation to the Hugo campus, especially those with children at both campuses. 

As we mentioned in our transportation FAQ, we are placing a heavy focus on a transportation plan for staff and families. We will have a bus provide transportation from the White Bear Lake campus to the Hugo campus in the morning, with the bus returning from the Hugo campus to the White Bear Lake campus in the afternoon. In addition, we will help facilitate solutions like carpool groups for interested families.

Before and aftercare will be available at both sites beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m. 

Will there be someone to help assist families with the transition?

Yes, we have a transition team in place that will be led by Liberty's Communications Director Samantha Hegseth. Please do not hesitate to contact the transition team at HugoCampus@libertyclassicalacademy.org. 

What time will each campus begin and end school?

We will have staggered start times. Before and aftercare will be available at both sites beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m.

 

  • White Bear Lake: Start and end times will not change at the White Bear Lake campus. School will begin at 8:10 a.m. and end at 3:15 p.m.

 

  • Hugo: The Hugo campus will start at 8:25 a.m. and end at 3:10 p.m. Afterschool pickup will be 3:10-3:30 p.m.
When will the Hugo campus begin operations?

Our goal is to begin operations at the Hugo campus in July of 2022, with our preschool-2nd grade program up and running at the Hugo campus for the start of the 2022-2023 school year in August of 2022.

Who will be in charge of operations at the Hugo campus?

We will have an Early Childhood and Lower Grammar Director full time at the Hugo campus, along with an assistant to the Director. In addition, Assistant Headmaster Eric Woernle will split his time between both campuses.

What staff support can I expect at the Hugo campus?

We will have a full staff available at the Hugo campus, including a facilities manager, a nurse, a learning specialist, teaching staff including all specialties like music, art, physical education, and librarian, a hot lunch coordinator, and administrative support. The financial department and the advancement team will remain onsite at the White Bear Lake campus.

What staff support can I expect at the White Bear Lake campus?

Staff services will remain unchanged at the White Bear Lake campus. A small number of staff will split time between both campuses, and the financial department and advancement team will remain onsite full time at the White Bear Lake campus.

Will a hot lunch program be offered at both campuses?

Yes, a hot lunch program will be in place at both campuses.

What will happen to the buddy system?

 

It is a priority for us to keep the campuses connected, and the buddy system will continue.

How did we pay for the Hugo campus?

Liberty Classical Academy operates from a fiscally conservative budget and has been saving money for several years for a building. That, in combination with a generous, anonymous donation, made this opportunity possible.

Will the purchase of the Hugo campus increase my tuition?

The tuition increase for next year will be similar to what it has been in the past.

Is the sale of the Hugo campus final?

The sale was approved November 4th and is followed by a 60-day due diligence period where final inspections will take place. In order to begin operations in the summer of 2022 at the Hugo campus, we want to move as quickly as possible in an effort to begin the necessary work required.

When can I tour the Hugo campus?

We are excited to welcome our families to the Hugo property, and we will keep our Liberty community informed of when opportunities to see it become available.

We have friends interested in Liberty, who can they contact?

Interested families should contact our Admissions department at admissions@libertyclassicalacademy.org or call 651-772-2777.

I have more questions, who should I contact?

We want to hear from you. If you have additional questions surrounding our short and long-term facility plans, please send them to HugoCampus@libertyclassicalacademy.org.

We have also appointed a transition coordinator, Liberty's Communications Director Samantha Hegseth. She will help families with transition-related needs, and she can be reached at the email above.