The Wentzville School District has received a $4 million grant to purchase the former United Services Building located at 2025 Hanley Road in O’Fallon.
The grant, which was obtained through the Early Childhood Special Education Department of Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and was specifically for the purchase of a building to house the District’s growing Early Childhood special education population. The purchase price for the building was $4,000,000 and the grant will be disbursed by DESE over the next eight years.
The WSD Board of Education decided to pay for the building up front, rather than take out an eight year loan, in order to save over $500,000 in interest.
The District’s Early Childhood Center is currently located at 5275 Quail Ridge Parkway in Wentzville in a 25,000 square-foot building that serves more than 460 children. The new building, in comparison, is 36,600 square feet.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for the WSD to purchase an existing school with funds provided by the state,” said Chief Financial Officer Pamela Frazier. “At our current location we were turning children away because we did not have the space to keep up with the number of typically developing students who wished to enroll.”
Beginning this fall, the building on Hanley Road will be the new location for the District’s Early Childhood program, an integrated preschool where children with disabilities participate in classes with their typically developing peers.
“This purchase meets a current need and it is an important first step in realizing our District’s goal of increasing enrollment for our Early Childhood Program,” shared Early Childhood Center Principal Kevin Garcia. “We are excited about the possibilities that this purpose-built building will provide our staff and students.”