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Good Shepherd Day School drops plan to buy J.R. Ewan building

Lexington's Good Shepherd Day School has abandoned its efforts to buy the old Julia R. Ewan Elementary School as a site for a new faith-based school serving preschool through eighth grade.

The Rev. Robert Sessum, rector of The Church of the Good Shepherd, said he informed building owner Bill Meade on Tuesday that Good Shepherd was unable to raise the money it needed to acquire the property.

Tuesday was the deadline Meade and the church had set for closing the deal.

Sessum had said earlier that Good Shepherd would need about $2 million to buy the school, plus about $800,000 to get it ready for use. But raising the money proved tougher than expected, he said Tuesday.

"With the economy being the way it is, the amount of money we needed to raise and the time frame we were working under, things just didn't jell," Sessum said. "It's unfortunate because this would have been great for us."

Good Shepherd has been interested in expanding for some time but lacks the space at its current location on Sayre Avenue.

Meade, a Lexington businessman, bought J.R. Ewan at public auction in April, after Fayette County Public Schools declared it surplus property. He bid $1,225,000.

Meade, who once attended the school on Henry Clay Boulevard, had said he wanted to see it preserved for some use that would benefit the surrounding neighborhood.

Sessum said he understands that other buyers are interested in the property.

J.R. Ewan closed at the end of the 2007-08 school year.

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