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Reassurances calm fears of alternative school

Posted: January 29, 2013 - 2:29pm

Now, was that so hard?

A few weeks ago, some of the folks in nearby neighborhoods were all but ready to put out “for sale” signs out of fear that the Columbia County Alternative School was relocating to the soon-to-be-vacant Evans Elementary campus.

But then a funny thing happened. School officials held an informational meeting for those neighbors to answer questions about the proposed move. They showed a charming video produced by some of the school’s students. They offered reassurances that, as Board Chair Regina Buccafusco says, the school isn’t “a YDC campus.”

And just like that, members of the board of education were entirely comfortable last week skipping the customary “tentative” approval to instead give their final OK.

Thus, this fall when Evans Elementary students start classes at their new campus a block away, Alternative School pupils will relocate to the old campus. They’ll be going from a 75-year-old building to one that’s roughly 20 years newer and in much better shape, and for the first time, they’ll have a lunchroom and a gym.

It’s also a great opportunity for Columbia County to further expand the mission of the Alternative School to allow more outreach to academically challenged students, not just those with disciplinary problems.

Improving the school is good for those kids. It’s good for Columbia County. And it’ll be good for the neighborhood, too.

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