The Natrona County School District board of trustees approved the sale of a closed school-turned-office building to a private school during its meeting Monday.

The trustees sold the former Jefferson Elementary School, now the district's Special Education Service Center, to Excel Academy for $317,023.17, according to the district's Board Infrastructure Planning Committee.

The building at East Fifth and South Jefferson streets was appraised at $355,000.

The district publicly advertised the building and received bids from Excel Academy and Patrick Eugene Enterprises. The latter business offer was a combination of $232,500 in cash and $150,000 in tuition and scholarships to be used at the district's direction for students to earn licenses in cosmetology or barbering.

The building was among those, including three elementary and one middle school, the board of trustees voted to close and vacate last year.

The nonparochial Execl Academy is licensed and certified by the Wyoming Department of Education as a kindergarten through 12th grade school, according to its incorporation document filed with the Wyoming Secretary of State.

Jennifer Wistisen, founder of the nonprofit Excel Academy, said the school has 90 students and 11 staff and teachers including her. The school has been meeting in the Grace Reformed Church at City Park (formerly First Presbyterian Church), she said.

The 19,600-square-foot Special Education Service Center is in good condition and will need only a few upgrades and a playground, Wistisen said.

The service center is in the process of moving out and Wistisen said Excel Academy hopes to move in by December.

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