McCune School Closed in 2014 Gets New Purpose: Project Alternati - KOAM TV 7

McCune School Closed in 2014 Gets New Purpose: Project Alternative 3 Year Lease


A vacant school building in McCune will be getting students again this fall.
          Project alternative started in 19-90 located on property of the Parsons State hospital. Specialized staff served students in a separate hospital program and other students transported from area school districts.
          But the number of those students is growing and the need for space brings new purpose to the closed McCune school

Paint crews are working to spruce up the auditorium which will serve as a cafeteria for Project Alternative.  It
s a program serving students with extreme needs.

Dr. Joe Galdarn, a Greenbush teacher for Project Alternative explained, "We offer them supports. Behavior support, social services support, educational support to try to  rectify their issues and eventually get them back into their home school. That
s our goal."  

The program will use at least five classrooms in what was the elementary part of McCune school, while the old high school will still be closed.  The program served students 5th grade through high school but hopes to add elementary kids where the need is growing.
Dr. Galdarn said, "We're seeing a higher population of kids who have emotional needs."

Project Alternative outgrew the class rooms located at Parsons state hospital which were decorated like classrooms but didn't even have windows.

Dr. Galdarn is excited about the move to McCune. He said, "The first thing is, its a school and it feels like a school.
We have a bigger gym area. We have a track. We have a football field. We have all  those things we can use with our students and we're excited to have all those amenities."  

Students will come to McCune,  referred from three special education coops representing more than thirty school districts. The program is helping them be efficient in handling behavioral issues which can be a challenge.

Greenbush executive director Mike Bodensteiner explained, "The training and the staff with the expertise and the specialized training that
s needed to make sure kids are safe but they are also learning."

Greenbush is leasing the building for fifteen hundred dollars a month for three years and paying utilities.

USD 247 Superintendent Brad Miner said, "It does provide us some income we didn
t have before. And it helps offset the cost of keeping the building because even if its not occupied there are expenses to keeping it." 

The three year lease includes a stipulation that the community will have access to the gymnasium and the storm shelter. The superintendent said it
s a win, win for the McCune community.
Miner added, "I think its win, win for the community cause there's certainly gonna be more people coming into the community because of this arrangement. I see it as a good thing."
     While McCune will house students from school districts, Greenbush will continue operating a separate education program at Parsons state hospital for students who reside there. A number which nearly doubled this year..


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