A Space for Study, Art and Worship

July 08, 2019 | Education | Steve Moor

If you walk the halls and corridors of any school, you will find different kinds of spaces: classrooms optimized for teachers writing on boards, desks for students to write on papers and computers for students to write on screens. You may find rooms filled with materials for creating works of art. You may find gymnasiums with space for playing basketball or volleyball and playgrounds that invite free play. Most importantly, in each space you will find a place for kids to be kids.

Steve Moor, teacher at Tualatin Valley Academy (TVA) in Hillsboro, Ore., along with home and school president Angie Peterson had a vision to see the boundaries of the classroom, gym and playground go beyond traditional school spaces. They had a dream for a space designed for kids to imitate and practice real-world interactions. They imagined a place where students in their school could share their works of art, study and worship in a professional environment.

Fortunately for them, TVA had such a room with the potential to become this place of professional presentation and learning. The Spynergy Room (Spiritual + Energy = Spynergy) was included in the plans for the upper-grade school building built about 20 years ago.  However, the Spynergy Room was lacking energy. It was open, empty and bare.

Peterson and her home and school team set up a fundraiser with a goal to raise enough money to turn this space into an artistic, intellectual, relational and spiritual haven for students on the TVA campus. It was to be a room built to engender sincere, authentic interaction.

The school pulled together and raised the funds necessary to remodel the space. Then … nothing. Sometimes money is simply not enough to take a dream into reality. Planning, budgeting for materials and equipment, and finding volunteers to take on areas of the remodel took time. Two years passed, and the room continued to sit empty and bare.

At last the encouragement Moor and Peterson needed arrived in a moving truck.

At the beginning of the school year, Raneé Dearing, a retiring worker at the Oregon Conference, offered to donate her baby grand piano to TVA. Such a gift needed a home of the same magnitude, and so the Spynergy Room project would need to go forward.

Moor spent his evenings and weekends pouring himself into the remodel. He enlisted the expertise of Michael Blackburn, architectural designer and handbells teacher for TVA, along with his students’ help for measurements and design. Volunteers came and stripped the old lights from the room, blasted the room with new rich paint, painstakingly ripped up the tile floor. With the guidance and experience of James Chamberlain, TVA’s physical education director, a new hardwood floor was installed. Chamberlain and Moor also built rolling cabinets and a two-tiered stage.

Crosspoint Church in Hillsboro donated a new electric drum set for the space. Local electrician and Crosspoint Church member Richard Cowles, who regularly donates his work to Oregon Conference's Big Lake Youth Camp, came in with his team to install new lighting in the entire room. Crosspoint Church member Mike Altman led the painting crew. Gladstone Park Church pastor Nathan Hellman donated his artistic abilities to create artwork featuring the parables of Jesus that will remain on display in the space.

In six months the room went from being a bare and unused storage space into a beautiful environment specifically designed as a place for authentic, sincere sharing of ideas, experiences, art and fellowship. The walls now display student art, the stage is graced with student presentations, and the halls carry the sounds of worship flowing through the doors of the Sypnergy Room.

Tualatin Valley Academy is grateful to all those who helped to make a dream into a reality. May the Spynergy Room, a room now full of spiritual energy, continue to bless the students, faculty and local community far into the future.