WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Wichita church has taken over a former hotel just north of Wichita.

Word of Life Church is turning the former Best Western at I-135 and 53rd Street North into a church, school, and student dormitory.

The church’s Life Prep Academy on North Meridian will move into the new site sometime before the 2023-2024 school year starts.

Pastor Rob Rotola Sr. said the college prep school will continue serving kindergarten through 12th-grade students, plus expand its service to international families.

The new location will include a dormitory for 160 international high school students, a counseling center, the school, and a large church. Life Prep is also planning to add a gymnasium to the site.

Rotola said Life Prep Academy is already the largest international school in the Midwest. Its current preschool through 8th-grade classes includes 375 local children and 150 international students from more than 30 countries.

He said parents in other countries choose Life Prep because they want their children to attend an accredited American school so their children can get into a notable college in the U.S.

Rotola said the conservative-Christian curriculum attracts some of the “most exotic-type students,” making Life Prep the most diverse private school in Kansas and the seventh in the nation.

The church is keeping the property where the school is currently located, 3841 N. Meridian. One of the plans is to expand the child care facility, which only has openings for 99 children. Rotola said they had to turn away day care requests for 300 children last year.

They are still determining the best way to use the rest of the building.