BOISE - The old Macy’s building at 10th and Idaho Street sat vacant for nearly a decade. Today, it’s the headquarters for a new charter school organization. If you remember what it looked like back then, you may not even recognize it today.
Athlos Academies completely transformed the historic building. They’ve put in a basketball court, blue turf field, and weight room, everything corresponding with what they teach.
“Awesome is a word used to often, but it's awesome. I mean it is just breathtaking,” Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said.
The CC Anderson Building was built back in 1927 and home to Anderson’s Golden Rule Department Store. Bon Marche then opened up in 1963.
“My first Christmas present that I ever bought anyone. I bought it for my mom. I came down here with one of my brothers and did that,” Mayor Bieter said.
Forty years later, the building became home to the downtown Macy’s, which moved out in 2010. The building sat vacant ever since.
“The longer a building like this stays empty the harder it is to get a project, any project, let alone something like this,” Mayor Bieter said.
A number of different organizations tried to move into the place, but nothing ever came to fruition, until now.
“The functionality. I think the idea that we can be downtown with our core components of our school model,” Athlos Academies Co-Founder Ryan Van Alfen said.
10th and Idaho is now home to the Athlos Academies Headquarters. A place to bring in administrators and train them on their unique teaching approach, which emphasizes health and fitness along with other academics, hence the indoor basketball court, indoor turf field, and weight room.
“We felt it was important to reproduce the elements that you'll find in one of our schools here at our corporate office. Not just for cultural enforcement for our employees and the enjoyment of our employees, but also for the schools that we work with, when they come here and train,” Van Alfen said.
Athlos builds and manages charter schools in Utah, Texas, and Minnesota, but not Idaho, yet.
“We're really hoping to be able to figure out a solution to put a school in Idaho, one of our Athlos academies,” Athlos Academies Co-Founder Jason Kotter said.
Currently, employees are the only ones who can come in and use the blue turf field and basketball court. However, Kotter tells KTVB the hope is to be able to utilize the space for community events and invite the community to come in and use the facility.