Kokomo’s site director Nick Parks said he was unaware of a state law that prohibits a school from opening within 500 feet of a body of water, railroad or cattle facility. The Excel Center building is near the Wildcat Creek, and officials had to apply for a waiver from the state to use it as a school.
Students likely will move into that building by next week, he said.
In the meantime, students are using the temporary space to work on community service projects that will help them earn a community service credit at the end of the semester.
One group of students was promoting the upcoming Excel Center block party. Another was planning a sporting event in Foster Park.
Parks said the amount of engagement he’s seen from students this week is “wonderful.”
Most students are ready to dive into their classwork, though.
“They’re chomping at the bit to get into classes,” he said.
Kathryn Davis is one of them.
This new school could change her life, she said.
Davis is 56 years old and has an eighth-grade education.
When she was a 20-something, she tried getting her GED a couple of times. She was unsuccessful. At the time it didn’t bother her. She was married and her husband could take care of her.
Her husband died three years ago, though, leaving her to live in poverty. She’s been eating only rice and beans for days.
“You have to fight for food at the end of every month,” she said. “There’s got to be a better way to live.”
Davis wants to earn her high school diploma and eventually become a missionary.
Vega-Mendoza said she may never realize her high school dream of becoming an accountant. With six kids, it would be really tough to spend time in college.