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Jul 18, 2013 10:11 PM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Work wrapping-up on Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus at former Wasson High School building

Workers are in the final stages of renovating the former Wasson High School building and turning it into the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus.

The campus is set to be open for the first day of school on Aug. 19. Workers have re-purposed parts of the building to build more offices, classroom and daycare centers.

Five-months ago the District 11 School Board made the controversial decision to close Wasson High School due to low enrollment and budget issues. But, district officials say the decision to close Wasson will bring new educational options to the district and El Paso County through the academic campus.

"That tough decision has led to these opportunities so we hope that the community sees it, we hope the students see it and that they're going to be coming and seeing that these opportunities are ahead of them," explained Senior Principal David Engstrom. "It's a new thing, it's a different thing, but it's going to be a successful thing."

The campus will be the hub for eight alternative education programs including the new Early College High School where students will have the option of getting college credits and even an associates degree through a partnership with Pikes Peak Community College and UCCS. Night classes and adult and family education will also be offered.

The goal of saving money by closing Wasson High has already begun according to district officials. The Tesla and Bijou schools will now be housed at the Wasson campus and their former buildings either repurposed or sold.

A public ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 16.

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