Take Two Academy is taking to its new home in the old Charles Evans Elementary School building, where the alternative education program finally has room to grow.
The program, which serves students who struggle in a normal school environment, has been housed in the old Ardmore High School gymnasium for the last several years. Take Two Director Lori Bell said the new space is a much needed change.
“This alone, right here?,” she said, gesturing to the wide, empty hallway. “This is awesome. I get goosebumps.”
In the old building, space was scarce. Hosting support groups or community meetings often involved displacing a teacher temporarily and borrowing their room, and common areas like the computer lab doubled as classrooms.
“It was like a Rubik’s cube,” Bell said. “So we’re delighted.”
The “Cooking with a Twist” cooking class will move into the kitchen, which, while not fully equipped, still has sinks and space for a class. The class is a special privilege for students, funded by a grant from Mercy Hospital. The cafeteria also has a stage, which the program can use for assemblies.
Bell said having their own campus isn’t just nice, it’s helpful to their cause.
“Our culture can be cultivated,” Bell said. “Because all of our staff are specially trained, we can now implement all of those concepts and keep everybody on the right track.”
The move also means that students who come to Take Two from Ardmore will gain some distance from peers who may have negatively influenced them in the first place.
“On that campus, we had a common courtyard,” Bell said. “Originally, we were completely scattered around, so class changes were a big deal. Here, we’re independent, we’re self sufficient.”   
Newly installed double doors at the end of the hall separate Take Two from the rest of the building, which will still be used by the elementary school.
The building is currently being renovated, but the old tile, chalkboards, metal fire alarms and other relics remain alongside new TV Smartboards.
“Every classroom has uniformity,” Bell said. “It’s really nice.”
The school will have a library with computers. In the previous building, the school only had room for two bookshelves in a computer lab. The library will also double as a teacher workroom.
“Mr. Blunt will be able to actually do labs now,” Bell said. “Before, he had to do everything through his classroom or use the high school’s, but he had to schedule it around their usage.”
Take Two will also have a fenced-in recreation area and a computer lab, which Bell said will be particularly helpful to students in lots of online courses. The school will also offer a teen parenting group.