SEYMOUR — Students coming to Trinity Lutheran High School for the start of the new school year encountered a 10,000-square-foot expansion.
The $790,000 project includes classrooms for drama, theology, Spanish, art and music.
The project began with a survey that determined there would be a substantial increase in students in the 2012-13 school year and that there would be community support for an expansion, said Mike Bridges, director of development for the school.
With that information, Bridges set in motion a plan to educate the public of the school’s needs in order to attract donors. Bridges said the school was able to raise more than $1 million last year, supporting the budget as well as the expansion.
The school opened in 2001 in First Baptist Church with 16 students and a handful of teachers, Bridges said. The school later moved to the current facility north of Seymour and has continued to grow. Enrollment is expected to be 158 students when school opens today.
The school has added fields for sports, including a football field, and will begin a football program this year.
Principal Dan Sievert said the school ran out of room last year and has 49 new students this year. He said that since the school’s inception it has grown and will continue to grow.
“It’s going to really benefit fine arts and make it easier to teach the kids,” Sievert said of the addition.
Sievert said the school has a niche for fine arts and other extracurricular activities.
“Our students respect their teachers and each other,” he said. “They excel and encourage each other to excel in the things they do.”
Sievert said the school plans to raise funds for an auditorium and stage.
For school productions, students currently build stages in the commons area near the front door of the school.
English and drama teacher Michelle Bauman, who is also the school’s recruitment coordinator, said it is exciting to expand.
She said that as enrollment has grown, electives have increased. Before this expansion, drama, art and music classes took over regular classrooms for storage and rehearsal, causing problems with space. She said the expansion will be an improvement for teachers and students.
“Trinity teaches students how to use their talents to serve Christ,” Bauman said. “Students have a place to work and play and share enthusiasm with others.”
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