Pilot & Today Staff
Steamboat Springs Soon Scott Powers, a second grader at Christian Heritage School, will not have to plug his ears during P.E. class.
New sound panels will complete the gym along with floor boarding, a scoreboard, and bleachers.
Anticipating new growth, the school plans to finish the gym in addition to an art room, music room, bathrooms, library/media center, prep kitchen and three classrooms.
Some of the rooms, such as the library media center, are designed to adapt to both elementary and secondary students. The school also plans to add lights, curtains, and folding bleachers to the auditorium.
Although Christian Heritage School moved into its new building in Heritage Park in 1998, it has remained unable to secure funding to finish construction until now.
General Contractor John Dobell, who has three children attending the school, said the project is "taking shape quickly" and the work should be complete by the third week in March.
"It's going to be great," Dobell said above the din of construction.
School officials hope the finished gym and auditorium will be a new asset to the community.
Students and parents were given tours recently of the construction zone and a description of the furnishing plans for each room. For instance, students and teachers can look forward to a kiln in the art room, a music room with a DVD player, piano and a small stage, and more computers with Internet access.
The space provided by the new classrooms also frees up room for a science lab and the school will be able to start a pre-k program.
A weight room and high school lounge have also been recently added. Project Coordinator Jon Smalley said the school would rely on donations, fundraising, and gifts in kind to furnish the rooms.
"We had so much community support for the original project," Smalley said. "The kids are the reason for this. I'm investing in our kids' future, and there's no better feeling than that."
Community support is certainly not new to Christian Heritage School.
The school's new building started taking shape four years ago when 200 to 250 volunteers hoisted up the structure's wooden frame like an old-fashioned barn raising in a single day.
Once again, parents, contractors and businesses are supporting the effort. Through their endeavors, construction costs have been cut in half, said Jim Mitchell, secondary principal and academic dean.
Mitchell said much of the momentum for the project is from parents who are excited about their children's education.
Elementary Principal Betty Lockhart, who has been involved with Christian Heritage School since its establishment in 1987, said watching the ongoing growth of the school is fulfilling.
"It's so exciting to me as a CHS old timer to see a new group of people come and run with the project," Lockhart said.