Important Update Regarding Grace’s Partnership with Brethren Christian High School
Our partnership with Brethren Christian High School continues to unfold in a very positive and encouraging direction. One recent and major change to our plans is that Brethren will be moving onto our church campus instead of our school campus. While Brethren High School could be made to fit on our school campus, it was determined the scope of Brethren High School offerings would be a more natural and better fit on our church campus.
This decision was reached for a variety of reasons. Being on the church campus affords more of a sense of differentiation and ownership of the campus by the students entering high school. The church campus also allows for better parking options for the Brethren students. Other important factors had to do with the need for two portable classrooms to accommodate all of their students. Both the higher cost and the uncertain timing in terms of installing those portables at our school site on McFadden made the church campus at better option. Replacing the two existing portables on the church campus will not be as expensive and will not be subject to any time delays relative to permitting through the city.
Over the last three years, Terra Arts Homeschooling Academy has been renting the bulk of our campus during the week to accommodate 100 – 200 students. Brethren’s enrollment will be about 125 students and will utilize all of the classrooms formerly used by Terra Arts. The library, the Cornerstone room, and rooms designated for Youth ministries will not be impacted by Brethren’s presence on campus. Brethren will be making use of the Sanctuary and Hope Hall for chapel and music programs but their usage of these rooms will be coordinated around existing ministries like the WOW service, MOPS, and memorial services as they arise.
The only major expense that will be incurred to ready our campus for Brethren High School will be the cost of replacing the two portables on the far side of the campus. Grace will split the cost for these portables with Brethren High School. Grace will pay for the cost of the new portable out of funds previously designated to our school ministry. NO funds from our upcoming Capital Campaign will be designated or used towards our partnership with Brethren.
Any additional work to make classrooms ready, to post signage, or to upgrade internet capacity and service, will be costs borne by Brethren and NOT Grace.
After exploring all options related to the long-term viability of our school, it has been determined that the best course of action is for that ministry to remain on the McFadden campus. Moving the school back to the church campus, while desired, has proven not to be a feasible option from both a cost or a future enrollment standpoint. We would not be able to raise the sizable amount of funds necessary to successfully move the school to the church campus. In addition, our survey of school families showed that we would experience a significant decrease in enrollment in making this move which would further negatively impact the outcome of relocating our school. Our partnership with Brethren Christian High School enables this ministry to remain financially viable at the McFadden campus. This partnership also provides opportunity for our annual enrollment to grow as Brethren will be sharing some of their teachers with our school on the McFadden campus for extracurricular classes like art, music, and Spanish.