Public votes could help Carmel private school get new building

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A small private school in Carmel is in desperate need of a new building, and the community can help it get one by simply clicking a mouse.

Midwest Academy is among the schools nominated for a Clorox Power a Bright Future grant, and with enough public support, the school could receive up to $50,000 to put toward a new building.

About 95 students are enrolled in grades 4 through 12 at Midwest’s current location – a 13,000-square-foot space in an office building on Congressional Boulevard. Many of these students have learning or social disorders and often find success at Midwest after years of struggling in a traditional school setting.

But the nonprofit school says it will need to find a new home when its lease expires this spring, leaving its brass a matter of months to find a place to serve its rapidly growing student body – and the funds to pay for it.

School officials are hoping the community can provide some help with this. Beginning Monday, the public can vote once per day, per device for one of the nominees. The top vote-getter will receive $50,000, and six $25,000 grants also will be awarded – half based on votes and the rest on merit.

School officials say Midwest would put any and all funds it receives toward a new facility, which will include some basic school amenities it currently can’t provide in an office space.

Without a playground, for example, students often spend recess in the building’s parking lot. Additionally, students are bused to an off-campus gym for monthly physical education classes and use a converted garage as an art room. A new building also will allow the school, which currently has a waitlist for some grades, to perhaps double its enrollment in the coming years.

To vote, go to the school’s entry page at http://tinyurl.com/afnoyzz. Come Monday, that page will display a code that can be used to vote for the school via text message.

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