Oak Grove Christian school forming

This fall, the Oak Grove Recreation Center will be home to a new preschool and kindergarten.

The founders of Oak Grove Christian School announced in an email Thursday the formation of the new school, which will offer half-day and full-day classes at the former Oak Grove Elementary School in West Muskingum Township.

“It will be a Christian school with a Christian curriculum,” said Melody Hoskinson, administrator and proprietor of the school.

The privately-owned school will receive no state funding but will follow Ohio Department of Education guidelines.

The school will be holding a meeting for interested parents Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the rec center at 535 BF Goodrich Road, she said.

Already strong interest has been shown in the school. So far around 80 students have been enrolled for the fall, she said.

Hoskinson has a decade of experience in operating a preschool. For nine years, she has operated the Putnam Church Preschool. Hoskinson and the administration and staff of Putnam are relocating to Oak Grove for the opportunity for more room to grow.

Using four classrooms at the rec facility, the preschool will be able to offer full-day classes for 3- and 4-year-olds for the first time while still offering their half-day classes. They will also be able to add a full-day week-long kindergarten class to the school’s offerings.

“That came from our preschool parents…They would tell us ‘I wish we could stay with you longer,'” said Hoskinson.

Alan Bartlett, chairman of the Oak Grove Recreation Center Board, said the arrangement with the school is an excellent opportunity for both the school and the rec center.

“We are looking and have been looking since we got the school to find partners we could work with that can utilize the facility itself,” he said.

Muskingum Township purchased the school from Marietta City Schools in 2003 for $75,000 and has spent the past decade renovating and sprucing up the building.

However, there is no fund in place for the upkeep of the rec center, said Muskingum Township trustee Gary Doan.

“The rec center operates on community help and fundraising,” he said.

While Bartlett declined to elaborate on the rental price negotiated with the school, he did say the school has contracted the building for three years.

Additionally, the school will help fund the addition of heating and air conditioning and other renovations in the rooms, said Hoskinson.

Another reason the partnership is so ideal is because the building served as a school in the first place, said Hoskinson.

The students will also have access to the building’s kitchen, gymnasium, and outside playground facilities, she noted.

Though the administration and staff will be moving to Oak Grove, Putnam Church plans to continue operating a preschool at its current Devola location, according to its website.

Veritas update

Another school which will open in Marietta for the 2014-2015 school year is still working on finalizing a location. However, The Veritas Academy is in final talks with a location in Marietta and hopes to make an official announcement about the location in the coming weeks, said Austin Rehl, one of the founding families behind the classical academy, which plans to open its doors to students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grades in the fall.