Auburn Gains New Window on Future

Auburn Adventist Academy (AAA) has a new window — make that windows — on the future, thanks to Restore Auburn, a fundraising campaign launched at Auburn’s 100th alumni celebration in May 2019 to upgrade the physical plant.

This project had long been on the wish list to help classrooms to be warmer and more efficient. Thanks to the right connections, the right donors and the right timing, the new windows were installed in the fall of 2019.

“We are so blessed by the generosity of those who support the mission of Adventist education,” says Peter Fackenthall, AAA principal. “It matters every day.”

In this first phase of Restore Auburn, all single-paned windows in Scriven Hall administration and classroom building were replaced with smaller, double-paned windows and insulated half walls to give a higher level of energy efficiency and to reduce exterior noise. The next phase will upgrade additional campus features.

In addition, the aging heating and cooling system was also upgraded to a zoned system to provide a more comfortable learning environment for students and staff. The previous heating system had been installed 50 years ago when the administration building was constructed.

“The energy savings because of this project will benefit the academy for years and make the rooms more comfortable for the students and staff,” says Trevor Wister, AAA vice principal of finance. “This project will benefit many different groups, and we are grateful to those who donated to the campaign.”

Jackson Whitacre, an Adventist and window supplier from Tulsa, Okla., generously supplied the windows to the academy at cost. Donations from the class of 1969, a significant alumnus gift and multiple contributions to the Restore Auburn fundraising campaign made this window remodel possible.

There’s a historical connection with this modern-day renovation: The Jan. 8, 1920, North Pacific Union Gleaner reported how the “youngest of our sisterhood of schools” put up with “pioneer conditions” including no heat, windows, light, laundry, dining room service, supply of water or doors on the first days of the new campus. W.C. Flaiz said, “Providentially the weather remained warm, and everybody made the best of the conditions.”

Making the best of conditions can be said for this project too: An installation project during the school year causes a few discomforts, and students and staff showed great levels of patience and endurance as construction happened around them during the learning day. Students came to school dressed in layers, for example, on the days when heaters were being installed and the temperature dropped.

­“The generosity of the class of 1969, and their love for Auburn Adventist Academy,” says Jay Coon, vice principal for growth and development, “is making a lasting impact in the lives of current and future students by supporting Restore Auburn through helping the school get these windows in place.”