"We thank the Lord that things went smoothly, we were able to start moving in before Christmas break, and that we're done," said Zion Lutheran School Principal John Schaff of the newly finished expansion to the school.
Students began moving into and decorating their new classrooms on Monday morning, Dec. 10, just in time for the upcoming holiday. In celebration of the move, the children indulged in cookies and punch in between lessons.
The expansion incorporates five spacious classrooms for preschool through second grade and the before and after school program, plus a kitchen, storage space and a janitor's closet. Channeling their inner creativity, students will now have access to a science and art lab in the front section of the school building.
After great success with fundraising events, grant funding and private donations, the Onward in Faith Campaign has almost reached their goal of 1.5 million dollars. Fundraising efforts began in May 2017 with a groundbreaking ceremony held in September 2017.
Members of the Laborers for Christ program worked together to build the new 8,500 square-foot addition at Zion Lutheran Church and School and completed the project in nearly eight months. In addition to the Laborers for Christ crew, many local businesses were contracted for wiring and HVAC work.
"I'm thankful for this amazing group of men, along with their wives, who worked and worked to build this project," Schaff said.
Although the greater part of the task is finished, the old early childhood building will be demolished and a portico will be constructed for a more welcoming, handicap-accessible entrance next spring.
The old early childhood building was the first Zion Lutheran Church and School that was built in 1888, where a one-room classroom housed grades first through eighth. When the new church was built in 1942, a two-room schoolhouse was built just a few years later.
Currently, the school provides academic leadership and shares the teachings of Jesus Christ to 145 enrolled students. The building is located at 1301 North State Street.
For more information about Zion Lutheran Church and School, please visit www.zionlutheranlitchfield.com or call 217-324-3166.