A planned school expansion project in Williston Public School District No. 1 has gotten its first donations, the Williston Coyote Foundation announced Monday, Aug. 5.

Tim and Jill Kleven of Williston have become the first Platinum sponsors of the Innovation Academy. The couple are former local business owners, and Jill Kleven is a member of the Coyote Foundation board. She and the couple’s three children are all Williston High School graduates, and the couple have a granddaughter set to start kindergarten at Lewis and Clark Elementary in the fall.

In a news release, the foundation wrote that the Klevens hope their donation to the renovation of the Hagan pool into a personalized learning environment for students in grades five through eight as an investment in the future of their grandkids and as a way of giving back to their community.

Joanna Baltes, District 1 school board president, said Platinum sponsors agree to donate between $100,000 and $1 million to the project, which is estimated to cost about $12 million. Baltes said she is looking forward to getting the project underway.

“Thanks to people like the Klevens we will be able to utilize existing infrastructure, to increase capacity and to encourage 21st Century learning for the students in our district who would benefit from student-centered learning,” Baltes said. “To use a swimming analogy, their donation has gotten us off the starting blocks.”

Donations for the Innovation Academy can be made through the Williston Coyote Foundation, a nonprofit organized, registered as a 501©(3) through the IRS. Donations can be mailed to the Foundation, dropped off at the District Office, or made online at http://willistoncoyotefoundation.com/. More information on the project can be found at academy.willistonschools.org

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