Northeast Magnet to get new orchestra program along with new school

Wichita’s Northeast Magnet High School will get a new orchestra program along with its new building this fall.

The magnet school, which is moving to a new building at 53rd North and Rock Road, serves about 600 students. Since it opened in 1990, it has not offered instrumental music or athletic programs.

Northeast Magnet’s new building, designed to be a comprehensive high school, features a full music suite and athletic facilities.

District officials said they still are finalizing plans for the new orchestra program. Eric Crawford, director of orchestras at East High School, will teach at Northeast Magnet in addition to East.

So far there are no plans for a band program at the school.

It’s unclear how many members a Northeast Magnet orchestra would have. Many students with a strong interest in instrumental music don’t consider applying to the magnet, opting instead for high schools with established band and orchestra programs.

The application deadline for Northeast Magnet has passed, but the district accepts late applications for all magnet programs, said spokeswoman Susan Arensman.

Late applications will be put into a waiting pool; on-time applications are processed first, she said.

District leaders voted last month to move Northeast Magnet, currently at 1847 N. Chautauqua, to the new school in Bel Aire because opening a comprehensive high school at the site would have cost an additional $10 million to $12 million per year in operating expenses, they said.