School Campuses Improve Learning Facilities

School facilities across Washington Conference are expanding, moving and improving.

"How we keep up our schools says a lot about Adventist Christian Education," says Lon Gruesbeck, Washington Conference vice president for education. "Well-kept schools demonstrate that we value our students learning environment and are committed to educating the whole person."

Six years ago, conference administration set a goal to have school facilities represent the quality of education offered inside, identified schools to be upgraded, and invested in school facility improvements through regenerating bridge loans.

Poulsbo Adventist School, which previously met in the church basement, is settling into their new, mostly volunteer-built school building behind the church, and Skagit Adventist School, in Burlington, Wash., is established in their expanded school facility. Buena Vista Elementary School in Auburn, Wash., just paid off the mortgage on their campus expansion.

Northwest Christian School, in Puyallup, Wash., moved into their brand new campus in the middle of the school year, and knocked down their previous, problem-ridden facility next door.

After years of patching up their school, Olympia Christian School is finalizing their purchase of a new, readymade campus in a better location. Lewis County Adventist School, in Chehalis, Wash., drew up plans this year for a new, expanded facility to better meet the needs of their growing school. Kirkland Adventist School and Puget Sound Adventist Academy are exploring plans to upgrade their combined campus.

Auburn Adventist Academy, in response to suggestions from Washington Conference constituents, is installing attractive security fencing, a campus alert system, and surveillance cameras to help improve the security of the campus and the safety of students.

Shelton Valley Christian School, on the verge of closing a few years ago with only four students attending, decided to expand their campus to include a community childcare center. "Our strong commitment to Christian education compelled us to keep looking for ways to increase our numbers," says Margie LiPique, Shelton Valley board chair. "Our enrollment this year is 28 students. This increase can be credited to adopting marketing suggestions, word-of-mouth advertising, referrals from our newly opened childcare center, and lots of prayer."

Now, Shelton Valley is remodeling their school campus to provide more classroom space. The burgeoning campus, though, is not what brings school leaders the greatest satisfaction. "Two students have been baptized this year, and at least two more are preparing for baptism," LiPique reports. "Students themselves conducted a spring Week of Prayer and this is what brings us the greatest satisfaction."

July 01, 2009 / Washington Conference

Heidi Martella, Washington Conference associate communication director