MCCUNE — In August, Greenbush will be using McCune’s vacant elementary school for Project Alternative, which will provide a day program for students with behavioral disorders and emotional issues.
The facility will also house a day program for students with low incidence scaled autism and down syndrome.
The elementary school, which is owned by USD 247, closed after declining enrollment in 2014. Greenbush signed the lease to use the facility at Wednesday’s special board meeting.
“We are excited about the opportunity,” USD 247 Superintendent Dr. Brad Miner said. “It will be good for the city and school.
“We are looking forward to working together.”
A kindergarten through 12th grade school was first built on the property in 1923, then was rebuilt in 1924 with an addition to the north side built in 1957 — which served as the elementary school.
“The community built the building years ago — they take pride in it,” McCune Mayor Tosh Kluber said. “I’m glad people are working there and it is being used.”
Greenbush Project Alternative Program Director Dr. Benjamin O’Connor said the school brings an opportunity to expand and serve more students.
The program currently serves 6th through 12th grade and, in a year, will begin to offer services for kindergarten through 4th grade.
Greenbush Associate Executive Director Stacie Clarkson said the goal of the program is to get the students used to regular education by teaching them through an individualized education program.
For example, if a student has difficulty with social communication skills then the goal would be to work on special communication strategies.
“Every student comes in with their own needs,” Clarkson said.
Kluber said the facility will still be available to the community for the fall festival, church services and other community events.
Along with Greenbush leasing the school, Kluber said the city has gone in a positive direction the past few years, with the city clean-up and new businesses.
“A lot of positive things are happening here,” he said.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.