Finn Academy searches for its home in Elmira

Courtesy of Finn Academy
June 5, 2014

Finn Academy, a charter school in Elmira approved by the state earlier this week, is looking for its new home.

The two potential locations for the new school are the Federal Building in Elmira and the vacant George Washington Elementary School building.

Martina Baker, chair of the board of trustees for Finn Academy, says the Federal Building would be an exciting home for the school.

“It’s got rich history. We’ve spoken with some local developers that might be able to turn that into a school building with ten classrooms,” says Baker.

The school will include 180 students in kindergarten through 3rd grade in the first year and will add one grade each year through the first five years.

“So that building is large enough to meet our needs throughout that entire process,” says Baker.

The school’s application also identifies the empty George Washington Elementary School as another possible site. Baker says that would require an agreement between Finn Academy and the Elmira City School District.

The formation of the charter school has been controversial in the city. Elmira City School District Superintendent Hillary Austin had opposed it, saying that Finn Academy would cost the district 14 million dollars over the next five years.

But in a statement on Thursday, Austin congratulated the founders of Finn Academy and wished them well in their new endeavor.

The application period for enrollment in the school runs from January until April 2015 with an August opening date. If they receive more than 180 applications, there will be a lottery to fill the open spots.