The ground has been broken. The final plans are being made. Actual work on the site will begin in the spring and we are still full steam ahead with classes starting at the new campus in the fall of 2018. We have been blessed by your generosity and we are excited to be taking these next steps.
The question we hear a lot is “What’s next?” The Building Illiana campaign is not over. We still have a lot of money to raise to finish the building and campus. There are a lot of spaces we want to have in the new campus that are not part of phase one. We don’t want to wait until phase one is complete to raise the money for these spaces. We appreciate everything that the community has invested in this project so far. However, we need to continue to move forward with our vision to build not only a building, but also the hearts and minds of our students for Jesus.
So what’s next? The community space. To some this would be the second gym. To us it will be the place where some of the most vital parts of the school will happen. This space would have three main functions until the masterplan is complete. The first function would be for chapel which we hold three times a week. Although it would require a lot of set up and take down, it would provide a place where the entire student body could gather to worship together. In phase one, we will have to continue to split the student body into two chapels and cram into the music room. This community space would provide room to spread out and worship together as a whole student body.
The second function would be for our drama productions. In phase one, we do not have a place for the annual fall play and spring musical. Those two productions and the months leading up to them are such a huge part of who we are that we really want to have a place for all of those kids. Over 100 students participate in each of these productions and we want to continue to have a place for that program to flourish.
The third function of that space would be for sports. A second gym in a high school is very important. It would function much like our secondary gym now. During the play and musical, we shut down that space for a few weeks in both semesters. However, the rest of the year, that space is used for P.E. classes and for athletic practices almost every day after school. A second gym in a high school is not just a luxury, it provides for better instruction both during and after school. On top of that, it promotes the family. With a single gym, after-school practices can run to 9:00 p.m. to fit all the teams in. With a second gym, most practices can be done by 6:30 p.m., allowing student athletes to be home for dinner with their families.
In the next few weeks we will be sharing our vision and plan to have this space built alongside phase one in the spring. The price tag for this space in $2.1 million. Stay tuned to social media this Friday as we have a fun contest planned for the community to get involved in this project. Thank you again for all your prayers and support. We cannot do Christian Education without the support of God’s community.