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West40 invited community members inside the St. Joseph High School gymnasium on July 18 to hear its plans to transform the legacy-rich school into a state of the art learning facility that supports the governor’s commitment to providing education services to youth-in-need.

Nearly fifty people attended the town hall in-person, while another 70 viewed the presentation online.

West40 executive director Dr. Mark Klaisner explained the renovation progress that has been made so far and shared that the goal of the state-funded project is to provide education and housing for up to 40 students.

“Our second town hall meeting was a huge success. We held a Q&A for almost 2 hours,” said Klaisner. “With a project of this magnitude, we believe it is critical to connect with the community, share our vision and answer questions. We look forward to being a positive addition to the community.”

As of mid-July on the St. Joseph campus, West40 has installed new security cameras and motion detectors, updated the fire alarm system with essential components, landscaped the school’s courtyard, installed a new water meter, hired a pest control service, and completed asbestos abatement in the school’s front office area.

Pest control reports have indicated no evidence of pests. West40 will continue to monitor.

Additionally, architectural drawings are being finalized and work continues on permit applications. Renovations of the school’s buildings, including roof repair, window replacement, and further asbestos abatement, are also being planned.

Prior to and during the early renovation, St. Joseph has suffered an extensive amount of window damage and graffiti due to vandalism. However, the recent added security measures have resulted in a decrease in vandalism.

The school could be up-and-running as early as March 2024. The renovation and future operating costs will be entirely state-funded.

West40 values community input to be a good neighbor. A third town hall is currently planned for August 23 at the school. Please monitor this website and our social media channels for updates. West40 also has a frequently asked questions page regarding St. Joseph High School.

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