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Peoria School District Acquires Arizona Challenger Space Center Facility

Arizona Challenger Space Center
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
The Arizona Challenger Space Center was designed with help from schoolchildren.

The Arizona Challenger Space Center building has been acquired by the Peoria Unified School District.

The Peoria school board decided at Thursday's meeting to exchange two pieces of land the district owns for the building, held by Kevin Knight of Knight Transportation Group.

MORE: Arizona Challenger Space Center Inspired Future Scientists For 17 Years

The Space Center is located right next to a Peoria High School.

The trade comes weeks after Space Center officials announced it was closing and leaving the space-age facility after having problems financing payments.

The facility is appraised at $4.4 million. Peoria Unified hopes to turn the center into a magnet STEM-type program, to be announced later this month.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.