Project Neighbors Newsletter, March 17, 2017
We’ve come a long way since 2011 when NEO was incorporated. Since then, we have served over 3500 students in our alternative high school and adult education program, and helped 1300 earn their high school diploma, 27 become US Citizens, and over 500 adults learn English as a second language.
Last year at this time, it was hard to imagine that a 70,000-square-foot bowling alley would become the new home of Neighbors’s Educational Opportunities (NEO). With architectural plans drawn, design/build contracts signed with Chester, environmental studies completed, zoning variances granted, and financing secured from 1st Source Bank and the State Board of Education loans, NEO purchased the former Camelot Bowl property on April 17, 2016. Demolition of the interior began on April 22. For the next four months, construction crews worked overtime to complete renovations while NEO staff worked overtime to pack, move, and unpack furniture, equipment, and supplies – all in time to open doors to for the September 1st Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and the first day of school on September 6th.
Many people lent their time, talent, and treasures to make this happen, including the 40+ volunteers who participated in United Way’s Day of Caring at NEO. They landscaped, painted, unpacked, and cleaned – efforts that made a significant contribution to the completion of this phase of the renovation project – on time and UNDER budget! The colorful, spacious, and welcoming space is now filled with hundreds of high school and adult education students in pursuit of their educational goals.
NEO’s New Vistas High School is in its 5th year of operation. Enrollment has grown by 69% since year one with current enrollment at 250. The school offers students from all over NWI, no matter their age, the chance to earn a high school diploma.
NEO’s Adult Education program offers classes to over 300 NWI students (16+ years) who seek to learn English as a Second Language or to prepare for the high school equivalency test (HSE – “GED”), college entrance exams, US Citizenship, or the workplace.
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