Greater Dayton School will be downtown, until $35M campus is ready

The proposed Greater Dayton School wants to open and operate in a temporary space in downtown Dayton until its new $35 million campus is completed.

The school has applied for conditional use approval to make a church building at 138 South Wilkinson St. its temporary home.

“This facility allows us to implement our innovative curriculum in a central location that will be close to our eventual campus,” said Ryan Ernst, director of the Connor Group Kids and Community Partners, which is the nonprofit behind the project.

Greater Dayton School calls itself the first preK-to-8th grade nonreligious private school in the state that exclusively serves children from “under-resourced” communities.

The Greater Dayton School’s campus site consists of more than 10 acres of land north of Deeds MetroPark in the McCook Field neighborhood.

The redevelopment project will create a five-story school, a clinic, a turf field, a sports track and a playground.

The property currently contains a deteriorating and largely unused parking lot and baseball diamond.

But the campus won’t be ready until the winter of the 2022-2023, Ernest said, so the school will operate offsite for the first five to six months of the school year.

The school plans to open in August 2022 with about 120 students and 25 staff.

Eventually, the school plans to grow to have between 400 to 600 students.

The Wilkinson Street facilities were recently renovated and have been well maintained, Ernst said.

The school at its temporary space wants to launch a free tutoring program for some low-income families in the Dayton area in November, according to a proposal submitted to the city.

The one-on-one tutoring program is “our way of helping kids who have suffered an average learning loss (of) eight months during the pandemic,” Ernst said.

The school has hired some of the best teachers in the nation and they will provide tutoring and individualized learning plans for students, Ernst said.

Connor Group Kids and Community Partners is the nonprofit arm of the Connor Group, a real estate investment firm.

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