Oklahoma charter school takes up residence in old clothing store space

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OKLAHOMA CITY – In less than a week, an area that had been vacant for years will now be bustling with activity.

The new Santa Fe South Charter High School will take up residence inside the space that used to hold Montgomery Ward at the old Crossroads Mall.

Since the building became the Plaza Mayor, tenants were needed for the empty shops.

“We were looking for a space big enough. We wanted to expand to 1,000 students, and it just so happened this mall needed tenants,” said Principal Lance Seeright.

Santa Fe South began in a church basement in 2002 with just a few 9th graders. Now, the school has around 2,700 students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

However, only the high school students will move to Plaza Mayor this school year.

“There’s always been a waiting list to get in because it was so small in the beginning. Now, we have the opportunity to serve a lot more kids,” Seeright said.

The 80,000-square-foot facility will house hundreds of students, but organizers said there is still room for more.

“We really need juniors and seniors. We’re still working on filling those two grade levels,” Seeright said.

The facility costs $12 million and was paid for with private and public dollars.

It’s a new beginning for many of the students who grew up in the Santa Fe South charter system.

“All of the students here are just like my family. They are my brothers and sisters,” said Johnnathan Herrera, a senior at Santa Fe South Charter High School.

To apply or find out more information, visit the school’s website.