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An anticipated $5 million federal cash infusion is expected to give Fell Charter School in Simpson the boost it needs to build a new school facility that is projected to open next year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the charter school's grant and loan application in January and school officials are awaiting final confirmation that the money has been allocated so that "the construction bidding can get started right away," said school Principal Mary Jo Walsh in an e-mailed statement Tuesday.

"We are beyond thrilled at this point," Ms. Walsh said. "We will be able to add a new facility on our current property for our students and families who have been supporters of the school for the last eight years. They and our teachers deserve it."

The charter school's main building has been vacated, and three additional school modular structures are expected to be brought onto the Fell Twp. property this summer. School officials plan to utilize the structures during the construction phase of the new building.

"We are making changes now so that when we get back in August we are all set up and ready to go," she said. "This way, there will be no disruption of the children's school year when the bulldozers and excavators arrive."

Efforts to reach school officials by phone Tuesday for more details were unsuccessful. The new facility will be built on the current school property.

Fell Charter School, an alternative education public school that opened in 2002 and is located within Carbondale Area School District, serves students from grades K - 8. The federal agriculture department finances charter school projects throughout the U.S.

Contact the writer: smcconnell@timesshamrock.com