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CMCS moves forward to build new elementary in Prinsburg

PRINSBURG — The Central Minnesota Christian School will go forward with a capital campaign to build a new elementary school.

Members of the Central Minnesota Christian School Society voted 129-3 in favor of a proposal to raise $6.5 million to construct a new elementary school on the campus in Prinsburg.

"A real blessing that we could have such strong community support for the project,'' said Superintendent of Schools Pete Van Der Puy of the vote held on Saturday evening.

Supporters of the school have already committed $4.5 million toward the campaign. Building will only occur once cash commitments representing 80 percent of the goal are reached, according to the superintendent. If things go as hoped, some initial work could begin in the fall of 2018.

A steering committee for the project will move forward with reaching a contractual agreement with Marcus Construction of Willmar and developing designs for the facility.

The project will help meet space needs at the school, replace an aged and inefficient elementary building, and allow the school to adopt a middle school educational format. The school has seen its enrollment grow by 28 percent in the last five years, with 38 percent of that growth occurring in the elementary grades.

The school has moved some things out of the elementary school to accommodate the enrollment growth there. The campus is essentially out of space for any future growth, Van Der Puy said.

A new elementary school building will offer space for pre-kindergarten through grade 8. Grades 7 and 8 will be located in their own area, possibly on the upper floor, as part of the middle school format.

The new capital campaign follows a successful $10 million investment in a new high school facility two years ago. The superintendent said the overwhelming support for this new project has left supporters of the project feeling "humbled by how God's hand" is continuing to move the school.

"There seems to be a real trust among the community that the school board and now the steering team is taking us in a good direction for the school,'' he said.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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