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What will happen to the former Wonderland Charter School building? Plans are in place

The former Wonderland Charter School building on Science Park Road in State College will become a second location for Step by Step School for Early Learning.
The former Wonderland Charter School building on Science Park Road in State College will become a second location for Step by Step School for Early Learning. Centre Daily Times, file

Wonderland Charter School closed its doors this summer, but the building on Science Park Road in Ferguson Township will still be used to serve kids.

Rachel and Rob Johnson, married owners of Step by Step School for Early Learning on North Atherton Street, have purchased the former school building. It’s where they plan to open a second location of their day care in the coming weeks.

The two rent their primary location and accommodate about 160 kids with the help of about 35 teachers and staff members. They opened about seven years ago with about four classes and kept expanding to get to where they are now.

“We always thought this was funny because we are called ‘Step by Step,’ and we kept growing step by step,” Rachel Johnson said.

The couple has been looking to expand for years now, but couldn’t seem to find the right place. Upon hearing about Wonderland closing, they decided to look into the building.

“It just seemed meant to be,” Rob Johnson said, “it is a really beautiful building that was originally built for preschool students, which is the ideal setup for us.”

The new location will be able to accommodate about 90 students, with 20-25 teachers and staff. Opening the second location gives current parents the opportunity to move their kids to a more accessible location, and also helps to accommodate families on the waiting list.

By adding a second location, the couple feel like they are helping to promote and expand their mission.

“With this location, we will be able to have more kids receiving care and education to help prepare them for preschool and later on in their lives while also accommodating family needs,” Rachel Johnson said.

They plan to open the second Step by Step location by early October, at the latest.

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