The state education agency offered a conflicting narrative of how a local nonprofit Killeen teen center closed its doors earlier this summer.
The ImPossible Teen Center, formerly located at 405 S. 2nd St., in Killeen closed down its 12,600-square-foot facility earlier this summer due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to Vantonio Fraley, the program’s founder.
But the Texas Education Agency says that’s not exactly the case.
The $386,726 property in north Killeen, formerly the site of Creekview Academy, is owned by the Texas Education Agency, according to records from the Bell County Appraisal District.
Creekview, which closed down in 2014, was one of Honors Academy Charter School District’s campuses.
When asked for comment about the ownership, a Texas Education Agency spokeswoman said, “The Texas Education Agency has an appointed conservator and board of managers in place for Honors Academy to acquire, distribute, and liquidate any remaining state-owned assets for the closed charter school.”
The Texas Education Agency confirmed to the Herald that Fraley did not leave the property on his own accord.
“In regards to the Impossible Center, the conservator recently obtained an eviction notice as the owner of the center was illegally occupying the premises,” TEA said Wednesday.
The Texas Education Agency did not respond to the Herald’s questions about how the agency obtained the north Killeen property by deadline Friday.
The nonprofit founder denies TEA’s characterization of his departure.
“We were not evicted,” Fraley said by phone Thursday. “To those claims, all I’m going to say to that is that we did a teen center. Our teen center benefited a lot of kids. We took a chance to do something that nobody else in this community was stepping up to do.”
Fraley said the prior charter owner, Honors Academy, lost the building to TEA years ago.
Looking for direction from the state education agency, Fraley said he had difficulties finding the appropriate people to talk to about renting the building.
“That’s why it made it so hard to get the building, because the TEA doesn’t have a real estate or leasing department or anything like that,” Fraley said. “So I had to do my research on my rights as a nonprofit and use that as a way to navigate the system and talk to the right people to even have a shot.”
Fraley opened the teen center in TEA’s building in June 2020, and erected a new sign outside the building. The Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting event at the teen center in December.
Fraley denied the word “eviction” was ever used in his discussions with TEA.
“I spoke to a guy from the TEA and eviction is not what we talked about or any of that,” he said.
Moving forward, Fraley said he is putting all of his energy into his nonprofit ImPossible Paradigm Shifters.
“I don’t want anyone to get confused between the ImPossible Paradigm Shifters curriculum and the teen center building,” he said. “We’re in good standing with the IRS and we’re still a federally recognized nonprofit.”
Fraley said he hopes to have his program back up and running, in Killeen and Harker Heights, by Labor Day weekend.
For more information about Fraley’s nonprofit visit https://ipsctx.org/.