Peoria District breaks ground on new SMart Center


Peoria Unified School District hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 11 to open the Sunrise Mountain Art Center, also known as SMart Center, for students on the campus of Sunrise Mountain High School, 21200 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria.
The newly renovated building, formerly the Arizona Challenger Space Center, is opening seven months ahead of schedule, according to a news release.

The building will be able to serve about 200 students in five separate classroom spaces with art, ceramics and basic and advanced photography. The space is complete with a digital and wet lab for photography students. The design also includes community spaces, and the district will soon seek opportunities to rent open spaces to community organizations and host enrichment classes for students beyond the school day.

Moving Sunrise Mountain’s visual arts programming into the new SMart Center allows for additional space for general education classrooms at Sunrise Mountain High School, expanding capacity by about 250 students. The school was at student capacity, according to enrollment numbers last year.