Cherokee Elementary In Turley Gets New Life With Lighthouse Charter School

Tuesday, July 7th 2015, 1:21 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A Tulsa charter school is expanding into upper grades and a new building. Tuesday was moving day.

The Cherokee building in Turley, a building that wasn't needed by TPS, is being reopened for the expansion of Lighthouse Charter.

The school is now in what was the old Greeley building at MLK and 66th Street North. The expansion means that children in Lighthouse, in 6th grade, can stay in Lighthouse for 7th and 8th - and more slots are opening up for children just going into school.

That requires moving a lot of furniture around and buying new things they'll need. For Lighthouse, it's an expansion that helps increase the students they can serve.

On the upper end, they'll add 7th grade this year and 8th grade the year after that.

 "We will add a grade with each year and we hope to grow to 12th grade to continue serving our scholars all the way from Pre-K through 12th," said Carlisha Williams with Lighthouse Charter Schools

8/16/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Lighthouse Charter School Celebrates Grand Opening

"A lot is going on and being moved in and out, but Tulsa Public Schools actually cleared out that building for us, so that was already done. There's nothing left in there. We're getting to move in our new equipment today and get ready for our fresh start," Williams said.

Lighthouse has 380 students which has put their old building at capacity. Because of the expansion into a second building, they will have 510 slots. They already have enough students to fill those slots this fall.

"We have so many kids on our waiting list and we're trying to grow the school and we need the room," said Nickia Green, Tulsa Lighthouse Charters.

"We didn't have any room in our current building; we had kids in every room of that building.  This way TPS has allowed us to open up some space and add more children because we now have more space and more open rooms."

Tulsa Public Schools renovated the Cherokee site, rebuilding the front office and adding modern security.

For Turley, it brings new life to what was the areas largest abandoned building.

"I hope that having the school back will be a focus point for helping rebuild the community," said the Reverend Ron Robinson of Turley.

The expansion gives Lighthouse room to whittle down their waiting list and keep their current students in the program for at least two more years.

Learn More About Lighthouse Charter School