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Islamic Society of Wichita seeks rezoning to develop about five acres near mosque

02/19/2013 11:09 AM

02/19/2013 11:37 AM

WICHITA — The Islamic Society of Wichita is in the process of seeking rezoning for about five acres of land near its mosque at K-96 and Woodlawn.

The society wants general office zoning in preparation for development that could include an apartment complex, an office complex, a medical clinic and a financial institution.

"It's not about making money," says Muhammad Aamir Usmani, director of the society's board of development. "It's about supporting our existing services."

Usmani, who manages the IT department at Wichita State University, says the society first started building on the almost 9-acre property in 2000.

"Initially, we had a gym," he says.

It served as a multipurpose building. Then, the group added a mosque and a school followed by another building.

"Everything is attached to each other right now," Usmani says.

The buildings look separate, though.

The latest building is a new school for pre-K through eighth grade. Fundraising is under way for a high school to be built on the second floor.

"Our goal is to start ninth (grade) in August," Usmani says.

He says while there are tuition fees, the society still needs to raise money for education and outreach programs to the community.

"We need to keep doing that and possibly expand it.  . . .  There are a lot of programs that are supported by the community.”

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About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com

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