Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

USD 501 Considering Avondale West as New Alternative School Site

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

USD 501 Considering Avondale West as New Alternative School Site

Article excerpt

Topeka Unified School District 501 officials have confirmed the soon-to-be-closed Avondale West Elementary School will likely become the district's alternative middle and high school, but a final decision hasn't been made.

"Planning is still underway with many topics and details still being decided," Misty Kruger, USD 501's spokeswoman, said in an email Tuesday. "We have a couple of building options within the district with Avondale West being one of them, but a formal decision has not been made."

Two custodian positions were posted Monday on the district's employment webpage for "Avondale Alternative School."

Kruger said that while a final decision hasn't been made to make the school the district's alternative school for middle and high school students, custodial staff will still be needed for the building because the district plans to repurpose it. She said Tuesday the school is "one of the main locations we're considering" and that "from a facilities standpoint, the recommendation will be to make Avondale West an alternative school."

A presentation on the district's proposal to convert the building into an alternative school will be made at a future board of education meeting, but the date hasn't been determined, Kruger said.

Board vice president Mike Morrison, who represents the area where Avondale West is located, said he has heard that the district wants to repurpose the building for the alternative middle and high school, but the board hasn't yet seen a proposal.

"We need to see that," he said. "It needs to come before us. There should be a plan and we should vote on it."

Avondale West, located at 3229 S.W. Westview Ave., a block east of S.W. Burlingame and Clontarf, will close as a traditional school on Thursday, along with Shaner and Bishop elementaries. Students from the three schools will have the option to attend the new Jardine Elementary Academy, built with $33 million of the 2014 bond issue funds, beginning in August, which is connected to the current Jardine Middle School, 2600 S.W. 33rd Street.

District officials have said there are plans to convert Shaner into a preschool facility and Bishop into a USD 501 professional development building. …

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