History

In the spring of 1994, the West Des Moines Community School District began to consider the creation of an alternative high school to serve students who were not meeting with success at the comprehensive high school. This would be the first alternative high school to be created in the suburban Des Moines metro area. In the fall of 1994, the school board approved the funding for the alternative school.

The planning committee went right to work, developing the concept and mission for the school. The school began with seven teachers, four case workers, two clinical psychologists, two at-risk associates, one counselor, one nurse, one secretary and a principal. The school was officially named Walnut Creek Campus on August 14, 1995, and opened its doors at 1101 5th Street (former district offices).

The school was projected to serve 65 students when it opened, but 120 students were enrolled and 70 students were on a wait list. The staff also began planning a night school program in order to meet the need for services. Students ranged in age from 14-21 and some came from other surrounding communities. The first year, Walnut Creek Campus had 53 graduates.

By 1996, the school expanded, using Upper Iowa University classroom space. It was Walnut Creek Campus by day and Upper Iowa University by night. Enrollment continued to climb and a new larger location was pursued.

The school space expanded when the location moved to a remodeled/reconfigured church at 815 8th Street in the fall of 1999. A staff of 29 served well over 200 students between the day, night and summer school programs. The school expanded its offerings by adding a student kitchen, a science room, a school store and 13 classroom spaces, many of which did not have doors or four walls.

During the fall of 2010, a study group came together to discuss a possible relocation of Walnut Creek Campus. Many alternatives were explored with the intent of finding or creating a better learning environment for the staff and students. In the early spring of 2011, a decision was made to remodel a former elementary school in the district, Clegg Park. The new facility would consist of much larger learning spaces that would each have four walls and a door, a cafeteria, gymnasium, updated science classroom, fitness room, shower and laundry facilities, large media center and designated computer lab.

On August 13, 2012, Walnut Creek Campus moved to its new location at 1020 8th Street. The fully remodeled building opened its doors to 165 excited students on August 21, 2012.