Development

A church building becomes an alternative school for grades 7-12 in midtown Kansas City

A church annex at 3930 Broadway is being renovated to become the new site for the Plaza Academy, an alternative 7-12 school that has moved from Manor Square.
A church annex at 3930 Broadway is being renovated to become the new site for the Plaza Academy, an alternative 7-12 school that has moved from Manor Square.

Plaza Academy, a private alternative school for the seventh through 12th grades, has purchased a midtown church’s education building at 3930 Broadway.

The school, which has operated since 1974, lost its lease in Westport’s Manor Square and has moved temporarily into Broadway Church, which sold its education annex to the school for $275,000.

The church building itself, dating to 1903 at 3931 Washington St., continues to be listed for sale by Greg Patterson & Associates.

El Dorado architects designed the renovation of the 1950s-era annex, which will provide eight classrooms and a small gym.

McCownGordon is handling construction. The work is expected to be done by May 1, at which time the year-round school will move from the church to the annex.

“We have 50 students now, and we were completely full in our old space,” said Ward Worley, executive director of Plaza Academy. “This will allow us to expand to 80 students. There’s no shortage of kids who need our help.”

Plaza Academy serves students who haven’t had success in traditional school environments. It provides behavioral and mental health services as well as basic education.

Worley said the school had 4 1/2 years left on its Manor Square lease but the new owners wanted the space for a bar or restaurant.

“We were really happy at Manor Square, so I asked them to incentivize us,” Worley said. “I took the incentive and used it as a down payment on the education building, which we bought for $275,000. It gives us more space than we leased at Manor Square for less cost.”

Worley said the Hall Family Foundation and other Kansas City area philanthropists have been generous supporters of the alternative school. Plaza Academy has operated in four midtown Kansas City locations, beginning at Community Christian Church 43 years ago.

Krtek Real Estate represented Plaza Academy in buying the building.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford

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