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Kids’ learning program to continue

A popular local learning program will continue on in a different location starting this summer, its director explained to the Bainbridge City Council Tuesday night.

Greg McDonald, the director of Continuing Education and Public Service at Bainbridge College, told council members he plans to continue the college’s EXCEL program, which provides after-school learning activities and in past years, a summer day camp. The EXCEL program at Bainbridge College will end May 22, however McDonald plans to keep it going as a private business, Atlas Educational Services.

The college decided in January to discontinue EXCEL because it is planning to relocate parts of the Division of Continuing Education, which sponsored the program, to an off-campus location.

Following the recommendation of the Bainbridge Planning Commission, the City Council unanimously approved McDonald’s request for a conditional permit to operate an after-school program and summer camp at 506 Russ Street. McDonald said he has arranged to host this coming summer’s day camp at Grace Christian Academy.

McDonald said the 5.42-acre site was formerly known as the Bowerland Personal Care Home and is owned by Winston Brock. A 3,930-square feet brick home built in 1953 is situated on the property, according to tax assessor records.

The after-school program began in 2002 after McDonald was approached about creating an after-school program. Each weekday afternoon, vans pick up kids from four elementary schools. The program has seven staff members who guide children in doing their homework, after which they have a chance to play. Before EXCEL, Bainbridge College had offered a summer day camp since 1978.