EDUCATION Horizon breaks ground on new school

December 7, 2005

Horizon Christian School started construction this week on a new campus to open in the Fall of 2006.

Horizon’s board of directors made the decision at its Nov. 30 meeting to move ahead with site preparation at Eighth and Pacific streets.

Gravel has been put in place, and construction will begin next week on driveways and building foundations for the steel building.

Chairman Don Hoffman said the directors approved a resolution to “order the steel and put the building up.”

The new 56,836 square foot school building is being constructed on 8.5 acres across from Hawks Ridge Assisted Living Community.

“It’s all systems go,” said Board Director and Project Manager Dan Boyden.

“We’ve completed the working drawings, done some off-site utility and street work and begun site work. Now some generous donations in cash and in-kind gifts have paved the way for work to continue, and it’s time to begin actual construction of the building,” Boyden said.

School officials expect the steel structure itself to go up starting in February or March.

Horizon’s development director is Carol Yates, herself a Horizon parent. She’s been in regular contact about the project with parents, alumni, and current students.

“The alumni remember what it’s been like and to think that now we will have our own facility; everyone is pretty excited about it,” Yates said.

Ryan Construction is the general contractor for the project and their firm recently built a new church building for Grace Baptist Church in White Salmon. A recent series of gifts and pledges totaling $500,000 in addition to more than $915,000 in member notes helped the board make this decision.

“In addition to the ‘behind the scenes’ work that has been going on with the plan and at the site, a great deal of effort has also been going into the financing package and the results are encouraging,” said Board Chair Don Hoffman.

He said total contributions, pledges, and member notes (a deferred-interest funding method) now total more than $2.6 million.

“We think it’s time to put that money to work and get a building up in time for Fall 2006,” Hoffman said.

The school needs another $2 million to finish out and ready the building for occupancy. The overall project cost is $8.6 million and will be completed in three phases. The initial move-in phase will include all grades, Pre-K through 12, special purpose rooms including art, science labs, music practice, library and computer labs, as well as administrative offices.

The gym, cafeteria and the athletic field development will take place as additional funds become available.

“The entire school will be together for the first time” commented Chris Herring, Horizon Administrator. Horizon Christian School currently operates at three locations and has fully utilized the available space at these locations.

Horizon Christian is an inter-denominational school, regionally accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, educating more than 170 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Horizon’s students, teachers, professional staff and board of directors attend more than 25 churches throughout the Columbia Gorge. Horizon is committed to providing a “Second to None” education taught from a Biblical worldview.

For more information, contact the school at (541) 387-3200. Contributions to the school may be sent to Horizon Christian School, 1889 Belmont Drive, Hood River, OR 97031.

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