11/9/2012 11:28:00 AM School will transform strip mall into classrooms
Franklin Phonetic School plans to convert the strip mall building at 6170 E. Highway 69 in Prescott Valley into classrooms.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg
Ken Hedler Special to the Tribune
Franklin Phonetic School bought the adjoining Lynx Creek Plaza strip center because enrollment is growing, and will convert it to classrooms, Principal Kristen Goode said.
Goode said the school's maintenance worker is remodeling the eastern portion of the building at 6170 E. Highway 69 that Video Outpost formerly rented. (A Superior Court judge sentenced owner Derek Robert Barnes to one year in the Yavapai County Jail after he pleaded guilty in August to sexual conduct with a minor.)
Once the former video store is remodeled, Franklin will move two fourth-grade classes into the space by Thanksgiving Day, Goode said.
"That's the goal," Goode said.
The move in turn will free up space on the K-8 campus so other classes will move out of the auditorium, Goode said.
Goode, who has worked at the charter school since 1999 and was promoted from assistant principal to her current job this school year, said Franklin bought the building because "we are packed out." As many as 30 students attend the bigger classrooms.
The school, which opened in 1996, now has about 460 students, Goode said.
The campus has 16 classrooms and a large auditorium, Business Manager Candy Andrews said. The campus covers about 84,000 square feet.
Andrews said the adjoining building that Franklin bought covers 4,788 square feet and will be converted into classrooms and a lunchroom. She would not disclose the price that Franklin bought the building from James O'Leary, M.D.
However, the website for the Yavapai County Assessor's Office indicated the property sold for $1 million July 13.
The businesses that rent space may stay until next June 30 when their leases expire, Andrews said.
However, two lessees said they plan to vacate the building sooner.
The business owner who has rented space the longest since 1997, American Family Insurance agent Steve Joannes, said he is not happy about the sale because he likes the location. He has a month-to-month lease.
"I'm looking right now," he said.
Tara Wolfe Martin, who has leased space for Daniel's Tuxedo & Tailor for three years, said, "I have to start looking for another place."
She said she needs a new location before March when she will start receiving jobs for high school proms.
The building also is home to Tara Thai II restaurant a Thai massage therapy site next to it.