By TYLER MASK
Amongst all the Baker restoration excitement, it might be easy to miss out on some other local news about growth and change.
Community Christian School, a non-denominational private school, has exciting news concerning a $3.5 million building project to expand its high school wing.
At the board level, CCS has been working nearly a year and a half on plans for its multi-million dollar expansion. The new building will be conveniently located next to its original building and connected by a hallway.
“It’s just going to tower over [the existing building],” Head Administrator Doug Jefferson said. “It’s going to house a full-size gym.
“We are going to have a full industrial-sized kitchen here, so we will be able to have hot lunches. It’s going to have a science lab... three different classrooms and a new library. It’s an exciting thing for us.”
Although the new building will strictly be a high school, grades K-8 will get to stretch out in the old buildings, making more room for everyone.
To make things even better, the old buildings will get makeovers of their own.
Jefferson believes this project could break ground as early as 2015.
“I am praying that we break ground a year from this May,” Jefferson said. “We need about a year for funding. You know we don’t get any support, like tax money, we’ll have to completely raise the money ourselves.
“We don’t want to go into debt. We are going to raise all the money and have it up front.”
Although CCS is beginning to boom, things didn’t start out big.
CCS’s humble beginnings started in 1982 when a group of families wanted an alternate choice to public education and homeschooling.
The school has grown from a few students meeting in several different homes to 114 as of this school year, consolidated in two buildings located at 2501 Garrett Morris Parkway.
Jefferson is halfway through his seventh school year with CCS and has seen exponential changes during his short tenure. Jefferson recalls when he first arrived CCS had a total of 32 students.
Although CCS was at an all-time high during the 90s, peaking at 143 students, lack of funding led to cutbacks, most notably eliminating grades 9 through 12 in 1998. But things are changing rapidly for CCS and high school has been back on the map for years.
To put the growth rate in perspective, the graduating class during Jefferson’s first year as head administrator was one student.
Next year, Jefferson will see 14 students walk the stage.
Concerning academics, athletics and fine arts, CCS touts amazing success. Despite being a school of few students and depending solely on donations and tuition,
CCS’s students are given ample opportunities to challenge their minds, utilize their resolve in the field and test their artistic skills, Jefferson said.
“We’re a small school,” Jefferson said. “But even with that, we do a lot.”
Jefferson is proud to say that many of his high school graduates have gone on to receive scholarships to schools such as Texas Christian University and Texas Tech.
CCS’s athletic program is filled with championship titles in baseball, softball and basketball and two State Runner Ups in six-man football. Last year alone, CCS’s six-man football team competed in the State-Semi Finals, bringing home several All-State Individual Awards.
Regarding fine arts, students are exposed to the subject as soon as they are eligible to enter CCS at grade K4.
Drama is a prominent force at the secondary level with students competing in One-Act Play each year. Choir is also a growing endeavor for CCS.
Currently, CCS is accredited by the International Christian Accrediting Association, which is recognized by the Texas Private School Accrediting Commission. Beyond this, CCS is a 501c3 non-profit organization governed by a board of directors under the presidentship of Suzan Nicholson. Karen Horton and Jefferson are the current administrators who oversee 16 faculty and staff.
For more information about what’s going on at CCS, call 940-328-1333 or visit www.ccsmw.org.