WMAES, In the Beginning
On September 14, 1994, West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science welcomed its first students through the doors. One hundred and twenty students, kindergarten through seventh grade, took part in a new education venture in Michigan. WMAES, along with a handful of other schools, became the state’s first charter school.
The entire concept was new and the possibilities seemed endless. WMAES was featured in The Washington Post, The Chicago Sun-Times, and in TIME magazine, with one of our students gracing the cover.
The school held its first classes in a former elementary school, then moved to Stadium Arena - now known as The DeltaPlex. Regular classrooms were set up for the students’ daily lessons, but on several occasions, the desks and chalkboards had to be moved out of the way to make room for the circus and dog shows.
In 1996, the school moved to its current location at the corner of Leonard and Wilson in Walker. The current secondary building was completed in the fall of 2003.
Parents and school staff have fought hard, through legislative setbacks, financial challenges, and management changes to make sure their vision - to incorporate environmental awareness and responsibility with general education -succeeds. Over the years, the school has grown to encompass developmental Kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating our first student in 2004.