New efforts being put into New Tech High

While there's talk of closing some schools in the South Bend school district, there's also a chance a new school could open!

The New Tech High School project is getting a second look.

This time around the school board isn't in charge but a group of business owners are supporting the project.

The concept and plan are the same as the original project. Leaders say a small high school will be formed starting with a class of one hundred South Bend students. Technology will be used to engage students.

This time a group of businesses are in charge of raising private funds. A group called “New School, Inc.” was formed in November after the new tech proposal failed in August.

Plus it's a charter school that will be housed at Studebaker School or Riley High School. The original plans called for the school to be housed at the Mary Crest building on Western Avenue.

Despite several changes it could be a tough sell the second time around.

Last time private investors were willing to donate enough money to bring a large fundraising gap yet the school board voted the project down.

“We agreed to fund a new tech high in South Bend because we believed it was so important for the people in this community to develop a set of skills that would make them competitive for this century,” says First Source Bank Chairman Chris Murphy.

Plus the school board already faces a tight budget and might have to close a handful of schools.

“It's a legitimate question on the part of the public to ask, how can you start a new school or school corporation and then with all the financial problems you face? But if they partner with the ‘New Schools, Inc’ I'm heading, along with some other folks, it’s a no-brainer. It's a win-win for them. It’s not their money,” says South Bend school board member Roger Parent.

New Schools, Inc. is not only working to raise money but on the process of qualifying for a charter. If the school is approved the board hopes to turn the New Tech High School over to the South Bend school district after four years.

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