Former Mercy Fitness Center will be new home of The Summit Preparatory Academy

Published: Feb. 2, 2018 at 6:36 PM CST
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In recent months, we have told you about private schools around Springfield that have started expansion projects, including Greenwood Laboratory School and New Covenant Academy. Now, The Summit Preparatory School is expanding by moving into the old Mercy Fitness Center.

A growing number of parents are choosing private over public schools.

"Parents are interested in getting their kids in a place where there is a lot of hands-on opportunities and flexibility in how kids learn, stated Robert Powers, Upper Schools Science Teacher.

The Summit Preparatory School has been in Chesterfield Village for years. But, with growth continuing, they have to look beyond.

Spanish teacher Sarah Leighninger said, "One thing we have is the freedom to tailor to our students and to do what is best for them on any given day."

In the coming months, the school will be moving into the old Mercy Fitness Center on Walnut Lawn Street. The interior will be transformed from a place to exercise young minds.

"We are extremely excited about it. We spent a lot of time thinking about safety and then really conducive to our style of learning like integrated technology, flexible use of space," said Katie Heet, a first-grade teacher.

Being in a shopping area hasn't afforded the school a lot of outdoor space.

"I think it is really cool that we have a lot of green space in the back. I think that has a lot of potential for a playground or sports facilities. That is something this building does not have," said sophomore Evan Mason.

Rob Gronniger, Head of School, said, "I am looking forward to the additional space and seeing the kids faces. That is what has me most excited is the fact that we have a little elbow room."

In a bit of a coincidence, Life 360 Church is moving into Chesterfield Village at the old Palace Theater building. Its original church building on Kansas Avenue will be taken over by New Covenant Academy for its expansion.