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      Realignment in the works for Marquette Area Public Schools

      The Marquette Area Public Schools will look different for the 2014-2015 school year.

      The Graveraet building, which currently holds 105 Marquette Alternative High School students, will become a kindergarten through fifth grade elementary school, and Vandenboom will become the alternative high school.

      Between 275 and 285 elementary students will be going to the Graveraet building. The district said it will cost $160,000 for Graveraet to be upgraded and ready for students.

      As for Vandenboom, the district said the upgrades will be minimal and completed by its custodial staff.

      "We had to make the decision because we ran out of space at our elementary schools; Superior Hills and Sandy Knoll were out of space," said Interim MAPS Superintendent Bill Saunders.

      But this change is a disappointment to the Marquette County YMCA's Early Childhood Development Program which occupies five classrooms inside the Vandenboom building. The program is currently serving 150 families.

      "At this point we've reached out to a couple developers in our community, and we're looking for space that we can move to," said Lisa Coombs-Gerou, CEO, Marquette County YMCA.

      Because the YMCA program is accredited and follows a curriculum, moving to another facility means it will lose its license and accreditation and have to go through the process again. That could take up to six months. If the program chooses to build a facility, it could cost around $1.9 million.

      Saunders said the school district will continue to work with the YMCA.

      "We'll at least provide another year of a collaborative working agreement to see if we can house both programs in the Vandenboom Childhood Development Center at the same time," Saunders said.

      The 2014 realignment will cost an additional $280,000 to the district's annual budget.