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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Third site denied for Imagine's Bridge Academy

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, March 18, 2010 12:01 am
A third possible location for Imagine School Bridge Academy has fallen through, along with the possibility the school will open in the fall. The most recent proposed location, in the East State Medical Building, 3124 E. State Blvd., was denied by Ball State University. Ball State oversees charter schools in the area, including the other two Imagine locations – Imagine Schools on Broadway and MASTer Academy.John Jacobson, dean of the Teacher's College at Ball State, said the board's proposal did not include enough information about the new location. The original charter request that was approved by the university outlined a specific location for Bridge Academy to meet the needs of surrounding students, Jacobson said. Even though this location has changed, the new location still must meet those needs as outlined in the approved charter.

In the letter to board President Don Willis denying the board's proposed East State location, Larry Gabbert, director of charter schools at Ball State, outlined several concerns regarding the new location, including rent costs and safety of the building, as it had been previously used for medical purposes. Gabbert also wrote that the board hadn't “satisfactorily demonstrated” a need for a charter school at that location.

Imagine originally planned to open Bridge Academy in the fall with about 400 students in grades K-5, but Imagine Schools regional director Guy Platter said, “it's too late to determine a site and develop it for school to start in the fall.”

The board's next steps will be to write two letters to Ball State responding to the location denials. Platter said if a site is not determined by the April board meeting, the board will vote to apply in May for a one-year extension for the charter, Platter said.

Earlier this month, a second location request was also denied at the Fruehauf building, 2001 E. Pontiac St. because of its proximity to two Fort Wayne public elementary schools, Irwin and Croninger. Imagine Schools originally wanted to locate in the Village Woods building, 2700 E. Maple Grove Ave., which also houses White's School for the Performing Arts. But East Allen County Schools gave the building to White's and would not agree to the sale.

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