The district had signaled in recent months that the Wilmore building might have been put up for sale if it wasn’t used by a school program. The city of Wilmore and Asbury University had been mentioned as possible buyers.
Wilmore had raked in around $60,000 a year in payroll taxes when JELV was in the city. Mayor Harold Rainwater said while the city would likely not recoup the whole amount per year with a smaller school, he was glad the building would be filled.
“[The tax benefit] won’t be the same , but they have a large number of assistants and teachers,” he said. “It’s bigger than we could have put into it any other way.”
The Wilmore building would offer Providence, an alternative high school, several amenities it has not had before, Young said.
“We think it’s an exciting space for them,” Young said. “They’ll have a gym, a library, a cafeteria and food service of their own as opposed to [using other facilities].”
Providence Principal Denise Adams said expanded space would also benefit the school.
“The hallways are just spacious, and the rooms are so huge, so it’s going to allow for a lot more hands-on activities,” she said. “The teachers are pretty excited about that.”
Young said Providence would benefit from being in close proximity to a higher-education institution.
“They’re also excited about the notion of being in Wilmore, where they can really take advantage of Asbury University, which actually is contiguous to our property,” she said. “It’s designed for a school; it’s a good place for a school, and we think we can accommodate some good programs with Asbury in the future, as well.”
Rainwater said the city would have to adjust to a different group of students.
“It’s not the same as little 3- and 4-year-olds; it’s a different population, but I think Wilmore should embrace all people for all education, so I’m hoping we can do that,” he said.
The majority of adult-education participants are from Nicholasville and live in the northern part of the county, Young said, meaning the Computrex Drive property may be closer to many adult students. Janice Crane, who directs the adult-education program, said the current Providence building would better suit the new style of the program, which focuses more on classes and less on labs.
“It’s a really nice spot in terms of building, and it would certainly give us our own campus, which might be really nice,” she said. “ ... There are more classrooms, and for our new design of the program, it would certainly physically be a better suit in terms of what we can do there.”
The district has not firmed up plans for the Coolidge building on East Maple.