Kootenay Christian Academy finds new home

Grade 8 and 9 students from KCA are all smiles after getting a first look at their new school building. - Kerstin Renner
Grade 8 and 9 students from KCA are all smiles after getting a first look at their new school building.
— image credit: Kerstin Renner

The saying ‘If you build it, they will come’ proved to be only the beginning for Kootenay Christian Academy (KCA) in Cranbrook. “KCA started with the faith of two women in 1995,” says Sue Spyksma, development coordinator for the school. Back then, there were 13 students and two staff. Today, there are 158 students from pre-school to Grade 9, supported by 25 staff members.

KCA is leasing space at the Alliance Church in Cranbrook and is slowly running out of room. A few years ago, Spyksma points out, the school added four portables to create extra classroom space. Last year around this time, she recalls, everybody started praying for a building or land to help them expand the school further.

Recently, KCA was given an offer to buy the building of Praise Fellowship and took it. “The purchase of the building has been the answer to our prayers,” says Spyksma.

The school is still in shock about the amazing opportunity. Spyksma knows the pricetag of $125,000 for the land, building and even all the items within, is an absolute bargain. Thanks to the generosity of donors, she adds, the school was able to pay for it in cash.

The Praise building is approximately 8,000 square feet and sits on 2.3 acres of land with playing fields and a basketball court. As the original plan included a school within, there is a lot of furnishing KCA will be able to use, such as desks, instruments and a kitchen.

The school is now looking to raise additional funds to add on to the existing building. Spyksma estimates they will need between $1.2 and 2 million to accomodate the entire school and any future growth. As a charitable organization, she emphasizes, all decisions are made by a board and the society can write tax receipts for any donation.

Spyksma says staff, parents and students are excited about the opportunity this purchase has opened up. However, the school will make sure the project is financialy secure before moving forward, so no extra strain will be put on the parents and students still get the best education they can, she stresses.

KCA is already running its pre-school program out of the basement of the Praise building. Spyksma says the hope is that either the elementary or the middle school will be able to move to the new location to start their new year in September 2012. Until then KCA will stay at its current location where Spyksma says the Alliance Church is behind them 100 per cent.

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