Peter Burnett School Reopens After 17 Years

Peter Burnett School in Hawthorne is back in business after being closed for 17 years.

The school on West 138th Street was shut down in 1980 because the number of students in the tiny Wiseburn School District had declined steadily. But that is changing as younger families move in.

On Tuesday, 317 elementary school students went through the doors of the refurbished facility that now has two computer outlets in each classroom, new carpeting, new utilities and a new parking lot.

"The school is better than it was when it opened," said Supt. Don Brann, who attended Peter Burnett School the day it opened in March 1956.

For 17 years, half the school facility was leased to the American Youth Soccer Organization for its national headquarters. The other half was leased to a private special education school called Rainbow Bridge.

When the last tenant moved out on Memorial Day, the school district did a whirlwind renovation of the facility, often working seven days a week to complete the $1.3-million project funded by school bonds approved by voters in March.

With the school's reopening, there are now four schools in the Wiseburn School District.

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