A building in Kansas City, Mo., that once housed a charter school will become a new campus for two Catholic elementary schools that are merging.
WDAF-TV reports that the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will close Our Lady of Angels School and Our Lady of Guadalupe School and create a new school in the facility that had been Derrick Thomas Academy, a charter school.
The site of the new school is about 2.5 miles south of Our Lady of Guadalupe and 2 miles northeast of Our Lady of Angels. The diocese projects that the consolidated school, a four-story building with about 90,000 square feet of space, will have about 225 students when it opens in August. The diocese plans to conduct a poll to determine the name of the new school.
Supporters of the existing schools expressed disappointment about closing their longtime campuses, but diocesan leaders say the combined school will provide better educational opportunities for students in the area.
Derrick Thomas Academy opened in 2001 in a converted office building as a K-8 charter school, named for a former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who died in 2000 from injuries sustained in a car crash.
The school's charter was sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City, but the academy closed in 2013 after the university decided not to renew the charter. The school was plagued by financial mismanagement and poor academic performance.
The Bright Futures Fund, which raises money to support Catholic education in Kansas City, has provided the money to acquire the school building.