Students of New Covenant Academy in Springfield will experience an expanding campus throughout the next school year. With a new baseball field, gym and six new classrooms in the making things are looking big for the Warriors.
Growth has been the reason for this expansion, as student enrollment at the private Christian school has been steadily increasing. With about 16 percent more students last year and an expected six percent growth this year, Director of Development Glenda Scott says this has created a need for improved facilities.
“About two years ago, or two or three years ago, we began to see a consistent growth in the school. And knew that if it continued we would have to do something facility wise,” says Scott.
One of the changes will be a new gymnasium to fix a long standing battle for space.
“Right now we have a gymnasium, but it’s used for lunch, it’s used for P.E., it’s used for our chapel, it’s used for assemblies, all of our sports try to fight for practice space in there.”
Other improvements in this first phase include the completion of the first home baseball field for the Warriors. This past season, the team has practiced at Nichols Park on the opposite end of Springfield. Additionally, officials want better drop off facilities for parents to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion along Cox Road in southwest Springfield.
“In the mornings and afternoons it can back up on that street and it makes us not very popular with our neighbors, and it’s not very safe. So we have got to get the road extended and the new parking will help a lot,” Scott says.
Officials have raised $2.5 million in private donations of the $6 million needed for the first phase of the expansion. All four phases of expansion are expected to cost a total of $12 million when completed.
As part of New Covenant’s annual fundraising banquet, they’re hoping to raise money for the new gymnasium and classrooms. That will take place on October 22nd and feature former San Francisco Giants pitcher, Dave Dravecky, as the guest speaker.