LILA’s Updated Facilities Encourage Learning And Support Sustainability
Lakes International Language Academy houses more than 1,300 students in its updated facilities on two campuses in Forest Lake. Originally a local hospital, we renovated eight classrooms and a small multipurpose space when we first opened in 2004 for our first 174 students. The next year, we remodeled the second grade classrooms and added the cafeteria staircase to provide safe foot traffic and allow more natural light into the building.
As LILA’s enrollment climbed, we needed more and more space. We established the LILA Building Company and sufficient bond funding to complete an additional 14 classrooms and gymnasium with a stage for the 2006-07 school year.
In 2008, a grant of $500,000 provided the monies to raise the center roof and add more windows to the former operating suite area—creating the home of our spacious media center and computer lab at the heart of the school.
We followed in 2009 with a cafeteria expansion and three new classrooms in the west wing. Then in 2012, we expanded the parking lot to ease traffic congestion during student pickup and drop-off. We’ve also converted office space to classrooms in our main building and across the street at the Annex. Additions to the Annex began in the summer of 2019, transforming the space into the north metro's only Kindergarten Center for preschoolers and kindergarteners by the fall of 2021. During the school year of 2019-2020, the Annex continues to house both LILA Kinder Prep preschool and 5th-grade classrooms.
Headwaters Campus For Upper School, Grades 6-12
LILA’s growth prompted the school leadership to explore expansion plans in 2013 and 2014. Construction on the Headwaters Campus began in early 2014. LILA's second campus opened for the 2014-15 school year. In 2019, we embarked on a major addition to the facility, including a full-size gymnasium, a performing arts center, rooms for science, music, and art, and a media center. Our first (and only) Capital Campaign, LILABold, was introduced in the fall of 2019 to assist with enhancing the learning facilities at both the Headwaters and Kinder Center.
21st Century Technology
Technology, essential to a 21st-century learning environment, has been integrated into all of our building plans. Some of the highlights include:
- Wi-Fi access throughout each campus
- Promethean interactive whiteboards in each classroom
- Promethean Learner-Response systems
- Stationary computer labs outfitted with large-screen iMacs
- 3D printer for Design course at LILA's Upper School
- Mobile iPad labs
- Mobile ChromeBook lab
- Three mobile computer labs available for checkout
- Full Google Apps for Education infrastructure
- Schoology app for Upper School students, parents, and teachers
- Fully equipped sound, light, and projection system in the multipurpose gymnasium space
- Key card and video monitoring security system
Going Green: Environmentally Conscientious Programs
As a globally focused school, LILA strives for sustainability practices that lessen our impact on the environment. Our amazing Facilities Maintenance staff has developed and implemented many of innovative efforts, including:
- A unique cafeteria food-waste collection program that delivers nutrition to local pig farms while lowering our garbage output.
- Switching to reusable lunch trays, thanks to a Washington County recycling grant for a new dishwasher at the Main Campus, helps us reduce cafeteria waste.
- Energy efficient lighting in the entire building saves energy and long-term costs.
- Paper and cardboard recycling programs throughout the buildings reduce garbage output and encourage students to practice thoughtful paper usage.
- Instead of expensive and wasteful paper mailings to families and students, LILA uses electronic communications systems (Parents: That’s why we ask you to keep checking your email, social media, and this website!)
About LILA Building Company
LILA Building Company, an affiliated but separate nonprofit organization, was formed in 2006 exclusively to own and operate facilities for lease to Lakes International Language Academy in keeping with Minnesota charter school law (Minn. Stat. 124D.10, Subdivision 17a). As a charter school, LILA receives lease aid under Minn. Stat. 124D.11, Subdivision 4, and also uses unrestricted general education funds for the annual lease payments.
LILA Building Company
246 11th Ave. S.E.
Forest Lake, MN 55025
The board meets on an as-needed basis.
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