In the first post, I mentioned that we were currently in talks with a local church about the possibility of using their facilities. That process has continued on, with members of our board meeting several times with the pastor and some of his leadership members. Over the course of these meetings, the dialog has shifted from curious to cautiously optimistic, and after our last meeting I feel confident enough to share more information about the current possible new home for our school.
Speaking of the school, the last post contained a poll for a name. At this time, “New Hope Christian School” has the most votes and – as long as there are no objections from the board or possible naming conflicts with the WV Secretary of State – will likely be the option we pursue.
Back to the church… During our first meeting the Monday night after the vote by Capitol City Baptist Church, Pastor Jason Robbins of Highlawn Baptist Church in St. Albans joined us – along with a couple members of his staff – and expressed interest in “sheltering” our new school. Since that time, we have been in constant communication with Pastor Robbins and his church leaders, have toured their church and the available facilities, and have answered the questions posed to us by their leadership team.
I am pleased to be able to let you know that after their leadership team met, they voted 100% unanimously that they wished for the dialog between us to continue and to seriously begin providing us information regarding the costs of using their facility!
Below are some quick photos of the rooms that could possibly be available to us. There is also a “Fellowship Hall” with full commercial kitchen which was occupied by a church dinner, so I did not snap a picture of that area.
Highlawn Baptist Church is located on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Vine Street, just off Kanawha Terrace in Saint Albans – approximately 6 miles from our current location. Founded in 1948, the church once housed an elementary school as a ministry of the church, and the church leadership now desires to see their facility used once more for the purpose it was built. As you can see from the photos above, there are many rooms available (not every room is pictured), as well as a 3/4 gymnasium.
During all of our meetings, we have stressed that we do not wish to be a ministry of Highlawn Baptist Church. Our desire is to form a non-profit organization that will partner with their church to:
1.) Provide a Christian education to current students of SCCA who wish to move with us.
2.) Continue to offer a Christian education to the surrounding community and engage new students in the area.
3.) Share the gospel of Christ with those in the surrounding area.
The Deputy Fire Marshall did a walkthrough of the building and mentioned that we were likely going to need a fire suppression system due to the size of the building, but that he would need to meet with the Plan Review Board before giving us a definite answer.
Then came COVID-19…
Everything we have been trying to do has ground to somewhat of a standstill due to the current pandemic. The Deputy Fire Marshall originally told us in late March that we wouldn’t be able to meet with the Plan Review Board until the quarantine/stay at home order was lifted. After a month of waiting, we e-mailed them once more near the end of April asking for an update, since there was no end to the quarantine in sight. He confirmed that, because we would be a new educational facility, a sprinkler system was a must – regardless of the size of the building or number of occupants. No matter what facility we should choose to use, it would have to be equipped with a fire alarm and fire suppression system.
Armed with this answer, and knowing that it is now a necessity, the Board is now moving forward with discussions at Highlawn and also looking at other possible facilities that may be available.
Please keep us and the new school in your prayers as we seek to make decisions that would please the Lord and allow us to do the work that God has called us to do!