By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer
Le Jardin Academy has come a long way since it operated out of rented classroom space in Kailua churches.
Today, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation will present Le Jardin with the deed to its 24-acre campus. The assessed value of the property is about $3.4 million, said Le Jardin spokesman Stanley Lum. The foundation had been leasing the land to Le Jardin.
In addition to the land, the foundation will donate $1 million to the school. The money will be used to begin construction on the academys high school.
"It allows us to expand as we had planned to do all along," said Lum. "Castles been committed to our school ever since the beginning."
Le Jardin was founded in 1961 and is best known for its French language instruction. The school has an enrollment of 430 students in kindergarten through the eighth grade.
Lum said the school still needs to raise another $1 million to build the first phase of the high school and the school hopes to be offering courses to ninth-graders by the fall of 2002. Completion of the high school will depend on Le Jardins ability to raise money, he said.
Castle Foundation vice president Kate Braden said the land and monetary donations are part of the foundations commitment to improving private education in Windward Oahu. She pointed out that there are no private high schools on the Windward side.
"We have a need for a good private high school over on this side," Braden said. "Weve long supported Le Jardin and the opportunity to transfer land to them, and the anticipation of developing a high school is right down the alley of what we do and our most important priority, which is working with the youth of Windward Oahu."
The Castle Foundation donated $3 million to help build the Le Jardin campus, which opened in September 1999 on the site of the old Kailua Drive-In. Until then, Le Jardin had leased classrooms from churches on Kailua Road.
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