Columbus Christian begins expansion

Columbus Christian School will begin work soon on a building expansion project.

The school will have a groundbreaking ceremony at 1 p.m. Thursday, with shovels in the ground near the corner of Indiana Avenue and Marr Road.

The expansion will connect to the existing school building and cost about $2.5 million, said Dan Lunsford, who is the business manager for both the school and East Columbus Christian Church. Site work begins June 6, but the groundbreaking is being held now so that students can be involved. Construction is estimated to take 270 days.

A major reason for the project is school growth. Lunsford said that enrollment is starting to increase significantly, and inquiries are coming in all the time.

“We’re starting to burst at the seams,” he said. “And we currently use part of the church, our Sunday school rooms and other rooms on the church side (for school).”

However, there are issues with holding weekday Bible School at the church, as the school has to regulate visitors for safety reasons. To help with this, the expansion will add nine classrooms with a focus on middle and high school grades.

The project will free up church space for church uses while also giving students good learning environments, said Lunsford. There are also plans for a potential second phase of expansion. This would add another six classrooms, as well as a cafeteria/activity room.

Lunsford said that the school is only doing Phase I for now because “fundraising can only go so far.”

“We know that what we’re building will probably not be enough because of the growth factor that we’re seeing, but we have to start someplace,” he said.

Lunsford said that Phase 1 fundraising is going very well. The school and church plan to continue the campaign so that as soon as Phase 1 is paid off, the school can move on to Phase 2.

He added that the expansion project has been in the works for two and a half years, and leaders are trying to be “as fiscally responsible as possible.”

“We do not want to put the church into a deep debt that we can’t get out of,” he said.