Avondale East Elementary To Transform Into Community Center

By: Sarah Plake
By: Sarah Plake

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The former Avondale East Elementary school building in Topeka's Highland Crest Neighborhood, will soon have new life.

The USD 501 board approved an agreement with the Community Resources Council to create the Avondale East Community Empowerment and Transformation Center.

It will house multiple nonprofits in one location based on the community's needs, targeting the area's high poverty rate.

"We are giving them the empowerment to make a transformation in their lives," Executive Director of CRS Nancy Johnson said. "All we can do is give them the tools."

Patrick Woods is on the USD 501 school board and took part in making the decision to approve the CRC's motion. "It is a wonderful thing to be able to acutally keep our promise in terms of not abandoning the community," he said, "and doing something that exceeds the promise."

The school closed after the 2011-2012 school year, and houses the district's police unit.

The center will open in July.

Also tonight, the district announced it is selling 17 acres of land next to high park high school for a Walmart Supercenter. The land had been donated to the district and they've been trying to sell it for 20 years.

Board members say they're pleased the deal will contribute to development in the area.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email: feedback@wibw.com
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