Crossroads High School to locate in historic Thayer Building

The historic Thayer Building at Ninth and Broadway will be the new home of the Crossroads Preparatory Academy. (Photo courtesy of

Crossroads Charter Schools has identified the Thayer Building at 816 Broadway as the permanent site for Crossroads High School.

The Thayer Building, which dates to the late 19th Century, continues Crossroads’ tradition of converting historic properties in the heart of Downtown Kansas City into dynamic 21st Century schools, where students engage in authentic learning through civic partnerships and access to nearby cultural and artistic resources.

Dean Johnson, executive director of Crossroads Charter Schools, said the 71,000 square foot building, plus 36,000 square feet of undeveloped land at 9th and Washington, is currently under contract with an expected closing in May 2018.

“The building is in excellent condition and needs only modest renovations. Students and teachers will begin classes in the Thayer Building in August 2018,” Johnson said, noting the building is large enough to accommodate both high school and middle school students.

The inaugural class of Crossroads High School studies at the Downtown campus of Park University, until the Thayer Building is ready for its first class of students.

“The building will open with 190 students in grades 7-10 and grow over time to serve 600 students in grades 7-12,” Johnson said. “The six-story building is large enough that we can create unique learning spaces for our 7th and 8th graders on one floor, 9th and 10th graders on a separate floor, and 11th and 12th graders on the top floor.

“The visual arts, performing arts, STEM labs, maker spaces and other common spaces will be located on the lower floors.”

Phase II plans include construction of a gymnasium on the vacant land at 9th and Washington.

Crossroads High School opened in August 2017 with 35 9th graders in Park University’s Downtown Campus in Commerce Tower, 911 Main St. Kirsten Brown, founding principal of Crossroads High School, is excited to expand the school’s original vision to include middle school.

“With this expansion and relocation to the Thayer Building, we will become Crossroads Preparatory Academy, with the goal of preparing students for post-secondary college and careers. Crossroads Prep will foster an entrepreneurial spirit within students and staff with project based learning and collaborative experiences with community leaders. During their Junior and Senior years, students will be able to take dual credit/AP classes, and our location will allow students to engage in authentic learning experiences.”

Crossroads Charter Schools was founded in 2012 with the goal of reducing the gap between the number of “high quality” school seats in Kansas City and the number of children seeking those seats. Crossroads has grown from one school serving 190 students to three schools serving 690 students. At full-capacity, Crossroads will serve 1,300 students. Enrollment applications for the 2018-19 school year are due on Thursday, March 1.

Increasingly, parents are seeking out an education with Crossroads’ core values of high expectations, authentic learning, creative culture and educational equity.

“It’s our goal that Crossroads graduates are college and career ready, well-rounded, love learning, develop their full potential, are exposed to the many cultural resources of our dynamic city, and dream big for the future,” says Tysie McDowell-Ray, co-founder and Chief Academic Officer.


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