CLOVIS, Calif.–The Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School opened it doors to a bright future on March 3 when the school began instruction at its new Clovis campus.
“This is a dream come true,” said Principal Rosie Bedrosian. “Since the summer, the board, staff, and parents have been working overtime to get the new school completed. For the past 30 years, the Armenian Community School has provided its students with a quality education. We now have a facility that matches our high standards of learning.”
On this special Monday, students gathered for morning assembly with all the excitement and pride that comes with moving into a new place. The 2.7 acre parcel, located at 108 N. Villa in northeast Clovis, offers plenty of space for current and future classroom units, parking, out-door play structures, and both grass and blacktop recreation areas.
“We’re confident that once the community gets a look at the new campus, our enrollment will increase to the point where we’ll have to bring in additional classrooms,” said Board Chairman Jerry Kutumian.
The purchase of the Clovis property was made possible by a donation by Fresno native Charlie Keyan. Keyan approached the school at a critical time when its lease at Saint Therese Catholic Church had expired, leaving it with few viable options for relocation and a very uncertain future. Unfortunately, shortly after ground breaking ceremonies this past June, the 82-year old philanthropist passed away. Both the school’s educational board and general assembly voted unanimously to rename the school, formerly the Armenian Community School of Fresno, the Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School to honor his unprecedented endowment.
Kutumian, a home builder who has led the construction effort and donated much of the materials and labor that went into building the infrastructure of the property, added that the school is planning an open house in April and it hopes the community at large will visit the new site.
During the assembly, Bedrosian recognized Anoush Yaralian, former Armenian language teacher and wife of Kourken Yaralian who, along with local clergy and businessmen, established the school in 1977. Also attending the opening day ceremonies were members of the neighboring United Japanese Christian Church.