TCAPS Eyes Re-opening Interlochen Elementary

"Definitely exciting to try to bring it a little more to life on a daily basis." - TCAPS Supt. John VanWagoner

A former Traverse City Elementary school building could be welcoming students once again. Interlochen Elementary closed in 2016 – and it’s been in use by the district in other ways for the past five years since welcoming students every day.

Interlochen ElementaryBut now, TCAPS says they’re planning a new use for the school building. This fall they’re planning to create an Early Childhood Center. The Superintendent says they’re looking at a number of options for services and preschool programs, including the Great Start Readiness Program.

Now they’re just waiting for final approval from the state to add those new classrooms. Dr. John VanWagoner says, “It’s still a little bit preliminary. We are waiting for the absolute word on the GSRP spots from the state. And we’re a little worried about staffing. So we are really hopeful that we are able to attract early childhood experts and assistants we need.” TCAPS has job openings posted now.

VanWagoner says input from groups like the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, Traverse Connect, and parents have highlighted the need in the community. “They have put an emphasis on early childhood education and the need for childcare overall. We’ve been listening to that and having ears open to what our community, and our parents and employers that help support our school system need.”

TCAPS says in future years, they’re hoping to expand to tuition-based preschool and early childhood special ed programs. The district is hoping to get GSRP approvals from the state within the next week.