Donors Fund Campus Improvements

Visit Auburn Adventist Academy in Auburn, Wash., and you'll notice some changes on campus. An avenue of flowering pink cherry trees lines the front roadway, an attractive brick security fence surrounds the front perimeter of campus, and the single-pane windows in Rainier Auditorium are now replaced with wood siding.

Elsewhere on campus, new landscaping adds natural beauty and new boilers provide better and more efficient heating.

"Some people ask: ‘Why are you spending money to improve the facility? Why aren't you using the money for scholarships?'" says Samir Berbawy, AAA principal. "Here's the reason: Donors tell us how they want their donations used. Some people donate to capital improvements, and some donate to student scholarships. As an organization, we honor and respect our donors' wishes."

The funding for capital improvement comes from a variety of sources, with donors providing a majority of the funding.

"The funding for the gym renovations, landscaping, fencing, new boilers and double-pane windows is donor-driven," says Jerry Russell, Washington Conference vice president for finance and AAA management committee member.

The installation expense for two boilers was the only capital improvement expense not funded by donors. The five-year-old boilers, though, were a donation from the Bonney Lake (Wash.) High School after the boiler company connected the two schools.

"We have to take care of our physical campus to provide an environment for learning," Berbawy says. "We appreciate our donors who partner with us to improve our campus."

May 01, 2011 / Washington Conference
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Heidi Martella, Washington Conference communication director