Raise the Yurt 2014

Alzar-logo-into-yurt-with-linesALZAR = "to raise"

("alzar" is a Spanish verb)


In 2013-2014, supporters came together to help the Alzar School build an additional student yurt.  With this additional student housing, Alzar School will provide empowering experiences in extraordinary environments that prime our students for a lifetime of leadership.

Why are the yurts so important to the school?

The yurts at Alzar School are home-away-from-home for students who are separated from their family and friends for an entire semester.  It's where homework is done, where students pack for expeditions, and where lifelong friendships are forged.  Students are so excited to return to the yurts after an expedition, and sad to leave the yurts at the end of a semester.

Through diverse educational experiences and independent living, spanning unique and traditional settings, the Alzar School provides learning opportunities that promote confidence, grit and transference to many other facets of life.  Students learn to live with far less than they have at home in the rustic, but comfortable yurt environment.  Students learn how to thrive in a group setting, sharing responsibilities like keeping their wood stoves stocked and going.  The yurts also help students hone their personal leadership by challenging them to do their own laundry and keep their personal belongings organized.  Yurt life is an essential element of the Alzar School experience.

A yurt at Alzar School builds leaders.

A new yurt costs about $80,000.  Currently, our yurts give us the capacity for 24 students, but we would love to serve 40, which means we will need more yurts!

Thank you to Alumni Families that have donated to the yurt project in 2013-2014:

Park Family Leonaitis Family
Sharp Family Schwarz Family
Lapeyre Family Lowery Family
Shotwell Family Kerr Family
Trufant Family Cates Family
Liles Family Arnold Family
Spirtes Family Nowak Family
Garvey Family Martin Family (Boise)
Boiko Family Ruch Family
Martin Family (Atlanta) Kessenich Family
Barnes Family John Scott
McIntyre Family Scott Family
Isaac Goldstein Elena Press
Estée Park Dezáray Lowery
Garvey Family Fontenot Family
Getzloff Family McLeod Family
Coleman Family  

The Alzar School intends to break ground on the fourth and fifth student yurts as soon as we can.  Monitor the progress of this campaign here.

Yurt Facts

Yurts originally come from Mongolia, and are generally moveable structures. Yurts are also a popular destination in the Idaho backcountry.

The student yurts are 30’ in diameter, or 706.85 square feet. (Do you remember your Geometry? The area of circle = pi x r2.)

Our yurts were made by Rainier Yurts, based out of Seattle, WA. These yurts were engineered to meet city building codes, including structural features (such as the center post) to withstand 120 pounds per square foot snow load and 95 mph wind speed.

The student yurts have an electric heater that can maintain the yurts at about 55o F but also include a wood burning stove that students can use to heat the yurt to comfort (reaching temperatures in the mid-80’s is not unheard of!).

The bricks that form the base under the wood stoves were donated by the Depot (our neighbor to the north), which was the original train station for the town.

A local craftsman, volunteered to build the students’ bunks. The four vertical posts are made from wood that was salvaged from the Cascade Saw Mill when it closed for good. The saw mill wood is “rough cut” - this means that a 2x6 is actually 2” by 6”, as opposed to 2-1/2” x 5-1/2”, which is what you get when you buy wood from Home Depot.