NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – It appears to be a usual summer at Whitinsville Christian School on Linwood Avenue as staff members prepare for the start of a new school year and children participate in summer camps.
But this summer is anything but usual. Construction on a $4.9 million addition began June 11 and completion of the first floor, which will be the elementary library, has an accelerated completion date of Aug. 28, which is the first day of school.
The second floor of the new addition, which extends over the existing building, is scheduled for completion in December and will include a middle and high school library, a technology room, a video room, study rooms and additional classrooms.
Fundraising was jump-started with $1.5 million from two anonymous donors, noted Director of Advancement Steven Heinz. Those donations “were tremendously transformative for us,’’ he said.
Some funding will come from grants and corporations, Heinz said, but most of the money will come from individuals with an affinity for the school. "They will drive the funding,’’ he said.
The school has been in existence since 1929. “We have many passionate alumni… who always support the school, frequently volunteer, and pray for the school. We are a really blessed community,’’ Heinz continued.
Headmaster Lance Engbers is particularly excited by the technology that will be introduced into the school with the addition.
“Back in 2004 we had a proposal for a major renovation, but it just wasn’t feasible at that time to carry it out,’’ Engbers said. “But we knew we had to do more with technology, and that we needed a new structure. We were overwhelmed with students in the library.’’
Planning started two years ago for the project that is underway. “We want it to be the heart of the school, the hub,’’ Engbers said.
About $2.4 million has been raised to date. Donations may be dropped off at the school or made online at www.whitinsvillechristian.org.library