A Toronto man is hoping to turn his dream of owning and operating a private school into a reality, after purchasing the former D.A. Gordon Public School in Wallaceburg.
Alexei Roudakov, originally from Russia, told the Sydenham Current his long-term plan is to turn the closed down school into a private daycare, school and college facility.
“I’m dreaming of having my own school,” he said. “I want a daycare, a school and a college to go there. That is the way I see this property. I cannot tell at this point which part is going to start faster than the other. It is a lot of circumstances and components that have to show up first.”
Roudakov added: “It’s a long-term project. I’m not expecting anything in a week or two or fast, but this is my life project. That is the way I’m approaching it. I don’t know if it is going to work or not, but I’m trying to be optimistic in this case. I’m looking to contribute to my new community.”
Roudakov said he is a teacher and has a science background from Russia, and currently operates Sharp Eagles After School Tutorial Services in Toronto.
“It’s more of an after school operation right now, originally I planned to have it as a school, but I decided the property doesn’t really fit over there for a school. So it is a tutoring centre, small classes and advanced classes in math, science, and art. I work with all different kids… from low functioning, as well as gifted one’s. As long as parents and children want to improve some academic skills, my job is to help them out. And in the summertime, we have summer camp.”
Roudakov said after receiving his BA in communication and working as a teacher for the York Region District School Board, he realized he wanted to run his own school.
“I have some ideas to implement and I was looking for a community who potentially would be interested in something like that and would have available properties. It looks like Wallaceburg is the right place I hope.”
Roudakov said he wants to take the kids as early as possible and build them up to the stage where they are able to be independent from their parents and be successful in their lives.
“Bringing them up to the university level and giving them the necessary skills,” he said. “I want to have some type of a college. I have in mind some programs right now, but I’m ready to disclose it at this point.
Roudakov said the school would be geared towards anyone, of any background and would focus on two different streams.
“One stream is the athletic stream, that kids would have an opportunity to combine their academic developments as well as physical,” he said. “Second, I would like to have some advanced academic programs to help make children and adults successful in an academic way.”
With the project in the very early stages, Roudakov said he is open to hear ideas from others within the Wallaceburg community.
“I’m open for any partnership,” he said. “I’m open to the community, open to the people, open to ideas. Open to the public completely, I’m an open-minded person. I’m open to any interested people who would like to help me out with this, of course I am willing to share benefits.”
In terms of a timeline, Roudakov said he hopes to get the ball rolling on the project as soon as possible, but he understands it may take some time.
“I am not the kind of person that will be here for one day,” he said. “I am willing to be patient, and establish myself, step-by-step here with my new community. I will invest my energy here, my education… it’s not about money. Within the next year, I hope to be moved down there.”
Roudakov added: “I really desire to make this community better and make some little contribution to this community as much as I can. It’s a big project and it’s a community project. I would love to have some support from people. I would like to have some connection with them of course. If anybody wants to support me with ideas, or any other support I would be welcome to. I’m not talking financial support right now, but anything in terms of educational businesses under my roof, I’m welcome to work that out together. Maybe somebody has a dream, and I can help that person come through. I’m more than happy to sit down and talk about that.”
“If I can help anyone with their children’s needs for any age, I am more than happy to sit down and consider how I can be useful to families or the communities specifically. I’m here to help, I’m not here to implement just strictly my ideas or my beliefs.”
After being extended for a few months, Roudakov said the sale was expected to close on Friday, Oct. 30.
The former school officially closed it’s doors in June last year. The decision was made to close the school after a lengthy accommodation review process in Wallaceburg.
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