GREEN BAY - An old school building in downtown Green Bay will soon be a school once again.
The Green Bay Area Public School District announced Tuesday afternoon, 139 South Monroe Avenue will be the new home of the district's School for Academically Gifted Learners.
A new downtown home for gifted and talented students in Green Bay is encouraging news for Tamara McLean. She has two children in the program.
"They are more engaged, they have more friends who have similar interests and they're really excited about their assignments,” said McLean.
"We allow the students to get the instruction they need at their level, not based on what grade they're in,” said Principal Tammy VanDyke.
Right now, the school is located at Langlade Elementary School. 131 students are split into five classrooms.
"We are maxed out for space,” said VanDyke.
The school has twenty students on its waiting list. That will change when with the move next fall.
The new building has about ten classroom spaces that can be used to host between 250 and 300 students
District Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld says buying another building was the only option.
"There's no other school that would have that kind of capacity. They've met their capacity at Langlade and need to find a new home for next fall,” said Langenfeld.
The purchase will cost $265,000.
Langenfeld says the district can use energy savings funds on the project, so it will cost significantly less than a brand new building.
The building opened in the 1900's as a Catholic grade school. The property was recently owned by St. Vincent Hospital, which used it as a daycare.
The gifted and talented program currently includes students in first through fifth grades, but it could be expanded.
Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt says the school will enhance the downtown, so the city is going to help raise money for about $1.5 million in renovations.
"It's not critical to the project opening next year, but we would like to offset costs. We'd like to raise half a million dollars at a minimum,” said Mayor Schmitt.
The Green Bay school district is also planning to purchase the former Girl Scouts Service Center on Finger Road.
The building, which will cost about $400,000 to buy, will be the new home for the district's programs for students with behavioral issues.
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