New program occupies Goshen school

GOSHEN, Ore. - New tenants moved into a school that closed more than a year ago.

The Willamette Leadership Academy signed a lease with the Springfield School District to occupy the vacant Goshen School.

Colonel Roger McClelland runs the military style middle and high school chartered with the Springfield School District.

The academy signed a one-year lease with the district, but has more permanent plans in mind, he said.

"We're hoping that eventually we can buy and purchase this school, and it's close to Lane Community College," said Colonel Mack, as he likes to be called. "Some of these kids don't even think that they can go to college, and we're going to prove them wrong."

He said the lease is a win-win for the academy and the district.

"We'll bring money into the Springfield district, quite a bit of money," Colonel Mack said. "We're going to benefit through we can grow."

With 180 students enrolled and a waiting list at least that long, the new-to-them building will allow the school to add 70 more students.

And Colonel Mack said that chance to expand his dream is what gets him up in the morning.

"Dealing with kids who've fallen through the cracks, kids who might not make it through school," he said. "But they're making it! Our kids will make it!"