The City Council agreed Wednesday to help the Oakwood School secure financing to construct a multipurpose building by lending the city's name to the nonprofit campus to sell bonds.
The new school building, expected to cost at least $6 million, will have underground parking, a gymnasium and locker rooms, a dance studio and a music center on a site across the street from the Magnolia Street campus.
Construction is expected to begin this summer, and the building would be open in 1999.
Officials said one benefit of the school's using its nonprofit status to secure the bond money, rather than taking out a commercial loan, is a low interest rate.
"We examined all types of financing and we found this to be a very reasonable approach and one that I believe is becoming more prevalent," said Sam Anker, chief operations officer for Oakwood.