The IsDB has participated in the improvement of the learning environment of Austin Peace Academy in Austin, TX, USA, the aim being to provide a better learning space through the expansion of a new school building. The school’s main building was not designed for middle and upper School and had limited free space for staff and students to use. Due to the pressing need of the school, the IsDB project was approved on 15 December 2018 and was successfully completed in 2019.
Austin Peace Academy (APA) is an Islamic school in Austin, Texas, serving Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12. As of 2016, its students originate from 19 nationalities. The Muslim community in Austin founded Austin Peace Academy to meet the crucial challenge of stimulating the minds of the students who enroll in the school while at the same time enabling them to preserve their Islamic identity, heritage and practices.
In partnership with IsDB, the Austin Peace Academy has successfully constructed 14 additional classrooms for middle and upper School, dedicated space for Hifz and the ISAQ Department, dedicated space for a science lab, computer lab and art room, and a larger office to house all administrative staff with a conference room. The old building was also renovated so that the students could move from the portables, which were worn out and required constant upkeep. These portables housed the lower elementary students (Pre-K to 5th Grade). They are over 20 years old and present constant issues.
The floors creaked, the ceilings leaked, and the temperatures in the classrooms would vary day to day which could adversely affect the learning. The classrooms weren’t well lit, with limited natural light, and weren’t large enough to accommodate a big group of students.
The renovation of the old building has helped the lower elementary students (Pre-K to 5th Grade) to move from the poor conditions of portables.
With IsDB's participation in financing the expansion project together with Austin Peace Academy and the community with the total amount of $3.5 million, the school was able to allocate those funds to the construction of the new middle and upper school building. Additionally, new learning spaces were created for the lower elementary students in the existing building. Creating these spaces transformed the learning experience for all of the 266 students, who started off their school year in bright and spacious classrooms.