The mosque, which opened last summer, is located at 8945 Dunn Road. It is a 30,000 square foot building and the entire second floor will be dedicated to the school, classrooms, study rooms, and a library.
The first floor would accommodate a state-of-the-art computer lab, teacher facilities, a conference room, and a staffed cafeteria and kitchen.
The parking lot for has room for more than 300 cars, and can accommodate a bus lane, a representative from the mosque said.
Second Time Is A Charm
The land use permit for the school was introduced on October 3, 2012 and council approved it during a final vote on October 17. The foundation quickly realized additional time was needed due to difficulty finding appropriate architects, engineers and contractors; and approached city council to extend the deadline to open the school. Six months were originally approved, and second time around council granted an extension.
At the October 3 meeting, Asad Alqam, a representative for The Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, gave a PowerPoint presentation and explained the proposal to open a private school.
"Strict guidelines and a school charter would be formed to ensure the best possible educational experience," he said.
In the early stages, the school would accommodate preschool to middle school students with 11 classrooms and six multipurpose room, Alqam said.
An administration board would be formed and would include an elected parent representative.
Breakfast, lunch, and after school snacks would be available to all students and the cafeteria and kitchen would adhere to all regulations.
Funding, Salaries, Staff, Tuition
The school would be funded through tuition and private donations from the community.
Teachers’ salaries would be competitive to ensure morale and retention, Alqam said.
"Ultimately the happiness of the children would be the main achievement," he said.
Why More Time?
Hazelwood code administrator Pat McSheehy said the city has received plans for the commercial renovations of the school on the second floor and requested a few changes.
"We had some modifications and revisions for both drawings and they have been approved," he said. "We are waiting on a the mosque to accept a bidder for the commercial renovations."
Once a contractor is selected, McSheehy said the city can approve all permits.
One thing the foundation will be tasked with includes bringing the building into compliance with Hazelwood Code and St. Louis County requirements regarding accessibility, and a sprinkler system for the fire alarm.
Originally Alqam said the timeline for bringing the building up to code, remodeling, and hiring staff would take approximately six to eight months.