District close to Dimensions new location

Emma Keith / The Transcript

Norman Public Schools is working to purchase and convert this building at 809 Findlay Ave. into a renovated facility for Dimensions Academy.

Norman Public Schools is looking to move Dimensions Academy to a renovated building just over a mile away from the school's current facilities with funding from 2019's bond issue.

Dimensions Academy is the school district's alternative education program.

The district is in the process of trying to purchase property at 801, 809 and 821 Findlay Ave. that includes a building, parking facilities and land. If successful, NPS will use the property for its updated Dimensions Academy facility, said NPS communications and community relations director Alesha Leemaster.

A new or renovated facility for Dimensions was part of the 2019 Norman school bond issue, which designated nearly $12 million to "acquire, improve and or/construct, equip and furnish a new Dimensions Academy."

Dimensions currently occupies two buildings -- Dimensions North and South -- along East Main Street, and serves about 300 students a year, according to the district. The school's current facilities are aging, and the district isn't able to update or renovate them since they are being leased, officials said.

The school district will ask the Norman Planning Commission on Thursday to rezone the Findlay Avenue property so it can be used as a school. The commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at City Hall.

According to NPS' proposal to the commission, the new facility would be a K-12 school with no more than 45 students and about 25 staff members.

The district would house the school in the property's existing building, previously used as medical offices, and would construct an accompanying gym and storm shelter at the corner of Findlay Avenue and Oliver Street.

Leemaster said more plans for the potential space will be shared if and when the district secures the property, a process she said the district hopes to complete this spring.

According to NPS' website, Dimensions' new location is slated to open in fall of this year.

An NPS sign in front of the building notes that Dimensions is "Coming Soon" at the new address, and includes several mockups of the renovated facility.

Emma Keith366-3537Follow me @emma_ckeithekeith@normantranscript.com

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