Bethesda Lutheran Communities won unanimous approval of Rhinelander School District electors and the school board last night and will purchase the closed South Park School.
The original listing price in March was $250,000. Bethesda's bid of $139,000 was approved.
Nancy Schroepfer is a program manager for Bethesda Lutheran Communities. She says Bethesda has been supporting people with disabilities for more than 100 years..She says they have facilities which will be headquartered at the building on Stevens Street. On highway "G" south of Nicolet College they have an employment center and another office off Kemp street...
"so we are going to be consolidating our operation out on "G" with our area offices which are across the street from Culver's on Kemp St. in the South Park School...."
Schroepfer says two other unnamed community groups will also partner with Bethesda at the South Park site. She details what they will be doing at the school...
".....we'll be placing people in the community in jobs. We will be having some work done there. We hope to see a thrift shop in the future. We have a partner division called Bethesda Enterprises that has 13 thrift shops within the state of Wisconsin...."
Final appraisals need to be done and a possible conditional use permit might be needed from the city of Rhinelander. But Schroepfer says if all goes as planned...after some renovation work... they hope to have the facility up and running by spring of 2015.