“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them.” Mark 10:14
Our Lutheran schools are certainly places where children are pointed to Jesus every single day. An important aspect of school ministry is the physical building where students are served. The facilities of our Lutheran schools must be able to provide both space for the capacity of our schools and the flexibility to enhance and increase programming.
Three area Lutheran schools are in various stages of the building process: Ascension, Central, and Suburban Bethlehem. Each school is answering the call to point children to Jesus the very best way they know how.
Although the scope of each project varies, each of the three schools utilized matching grants and held pledge campaigns to finance the new facilities.
Ascension held their Service of Dedication for the new addition on Sunday, August, 27, 2017 after breaking ground in April 2017. Ascension added four new classrooms and doubled the size of their kitchen. Principal Mary Eifert explained, “This year we split apart grade 5 from grade 6 and had no other place to put the new group. In two years we plan to split 7 from 8 and again, no space. Two years ago we gave up a music room so that we could house a larger group of 7/8 students. So frankly, we were out of space.” Ascension added four classrooms with an eye to the future. The fourth new room not currently being used as a classroom is being used by tutoring, math classes, extended care, Girl Scouts, Trail Life, Mom’s Bible class, and youth group. “All of the space was very much needed” observes Eifert. The larger kitchen will also serve students well with room for equipment to keep lunches and milks cool, plus a serving window that faces into the lunch room. This latest project–Ascension’s fifth since being chartered in 1978– is dedicated in memory of Rev. Prof. Richard & Kay Muller for their support of Christian education.
Central Lutheran School in New Haven will hold a Service of Dedication for their new facilities on October 8 at 2pm. Central Lutheran School opened its doors in 1952 with eight classrooms, an auditorium-gymnasium, kitchen, and cafeteria. Since then, Central has completed three building projects. The most recent addition includes an early childhood center with eight classrooms. Principal Kevin Creutz says of the addition, “We are very excited to have more space for our growing preschool, and that they’ve joined the elementary school under one roof.” Central also gained a new school office, including an updated, more secure front entrance, and added a new gymnasium with stage and bleacher seating for over 400. “Central has been talking about a new gymnasium for decades,” explains Creutz, “Our new gym will allow Central flexible schedules for practices and games, more seating for drama production, allow us to hold our Christmas concert on site, and give us the potential to host tournaments, just to name a few possibilities.”
Suburban Bethlehem recently broke ground on their project, which will connect the church building and school building. Suburban Bethlehem’s school is adding three classrooms. The church is getting new offices, a fellowship hall, a youth room, numerous meeting rooms, and a new large narthex. The project, which has been in active planning stages for over two years, is projected to take 10-12 months to complete. Principal Rich Brune is looking forward to the new addition’s impact on ministry explaining, “We anticipate that this project will allow us room to grow our school as well as give us the ability to reach out to the surrounding community through expanded church activities.”