Harmony Science Academy to add Odessa campus

A rendering of the new design of Harmony Science Academy. The charter school is planning another campus for Odessa for the 2025-26 school year. (Courtesy Photo)

Due to strong demand, Odessa will be getting another Harmony Science Academy campus for the 2025-26 school year.

Construction will probably start in the fall of 2024. The kindergarten through eighth-grade campus will be located behind Cinergy movie theater at the corner of Dr. Emmitt Headlee and Mission Boulevard, said Daniela Marquez, district director of Marketing, Communications & Development-West Texas District.

Harmony usually places campuses on about 20 acres of land.

Marquez said Harmony, a public charter school, is one of the most applied to in the state. Harmony has more than 60 campuses throughout Texas.

“I believe Odessa is the third with the longest wait list. There is a lot of demand in Odessa and Midland and they are opening a campus in Midland first because there’s no space. The goal is to accommodate more students,” Marquez said.

The Odessa campus, at 2755 N. Grandview Ave., has 530-540 kindergarten through eighth-grade students and more than 100 are on the waiting list, Marquez said. The new campus will be larger than the previous building and sports will be added. She said they currently have basketball and cross-country in Odessa.

Another view of the new design of Harmony Science Academy. The charter school is planning another campus for Odessa for the 2025-26 school year due to demand. (Courtesy Photo)

Charter schools get state funding based on attendance, but they can’t issue bonds like independent school districts.

“We do get some funds through the state, but we actually created a development department about two years ago which seeks and applies for grants. We get philanthropic funds. That’s one of the reasons why we’re opening in Midland, thanks to the Permian Strategic Partnership (and) Abell-Hanger Foundation that provided funds to open a school there,” Marquez said.

Harmony is working to get similar support for a new Odessa campus.

Marquez said Harmony offers a “really competitive” salary and benefits so staffing isn’t a big issue.

“I think that’s the reason why we don’t have that many issues, especially in that area. Usually when they leave it’s because they’re going to move somewhere else. But it hasn’t affected us that much, especially in the Odessa area I guess because we offer excellent benefits and vacation time, life insurance — all the benefits plus the schedule. The schedule is great if you have kids,” she added.

Marquez said Harmony is excited to be part of Odessa and they appreciate how welcoming people have been.

“And now with the fact that we are able to bring them and offer them a bigger space with unique equipment and everything for them to enjoy and learn, we look forward to it,” she added.