Slated for surplussing under the City of the Future plan, Bellevue Elementary will be an attractive development property. Some folks are starting to talk about finding a developer interested in a combination retirement and private elementary school…
From the letter sent to chpn:
Why not use Bellevue as a school to serve our community? It could combine retirement living on the top floor with a school on the two lower floors. In other parts of the country, communities have combined retirees with pre- and elementary-school age children, a partnership that benefits both populations. Or use it as a school and community center. The trick (or the million-dollar question) is to find a developer who would consider such a mad idea.
About 30 years ago, when Bellevue School closed because of a fire, some of us with young children talked briefly about trying to start a small school in Church Hill, but there weren’t enough of us to really push it. We did create a morning pre-nursery school with a hired teacher that lasted for quite a few years. Unfortunately, the history through the 90s was to run for the ‘burbs for many when their children reached school age or (for those who could afford college tuition rates for k-12) make the daily trek to and from private schools in far off places.
About 20 years later a friend I used to work with who had two daughters was one of the initiators of Orchard House School in North Side. That school has flourished and now moved to the Fan. If people in Church Hill are interested in exploring the possibility of starting a reasonably priced private school in our neighborhood, perhaps it should be explored.