Community Christian School had its first day of school Wednesday, starting the year in its new building.
Formerly at First Evangelical Free Church, CCS staff and volunteers spent the summer refurbishing the Holy Rosary Parish building to be ready for the 2013-14 school year.
It was an exciting first day, Margaret Shields, dean of students, said.
First-grader Tyson Nelson uses his bright green ruler, perhaps to improve reception, as his teacher, Brady Weller, talks about the digital chalkboard in the class during the first day of school at Community Christian School.
"Parents came this morning with their students, came into the building. We had our flag-raising, all the parents stayed for that. And the students, they've all had smiles on their faces," Shields said. "We're all very excited for our first day here."
Like the students, faculty spent the day becoming acclimated to the new building.
"They came in early August and started working on getting their rooms set up the way they wanted them," Shields said. "They have done a super job of making their rooms look inviting and enticing for their classes."
Brady Weller, first- and second-grade teacher, said she enjoys the new facility and her new classroom.
"It's been an exciting transition. We got to come in and rearrange things how we wanted to. It's been fun, decorating however we wanted to," she said. "It's been a good move. It's been lots of work, but I think it's good to have our own space in our own building, and it's been exciting for the kids and for the families too."
Wednesday marked Community Christian School's 35th year, Shields said.
"To think this is our 35th year, our first day in a new building, is just a real blessing," she said. "We started the day with praise, because we have this building we didn't have a dream of having. Everybody's enjoying it."
Starting in May and through August, the school was repainted and given new carpets, bulletin and chalk boards, among many other improvements. It was not a lone effort.
"We've had lots of volunteers that have come in and helped," Shields said. "Over a hundred different people have volunteered in this building this summer doing anything that we needed done. Washing windows, cleaning dust, doing a super deep clean of the bathroom tiles, the floors, in the kitchen."
Improvements continue to be made, Shields said.
"If we are approved, we're going to do a fence around the whole west area, so we'll have a nice fence enclosed for the safety of our students," she said. "We still want to make it available to the neighborhood, so we're putting gates on the corners so they can still come in and use it. We're not opposed to that."
Enrollment increased at CCS this year, Shields said, up five with 54 students total.
"We have 12 new families in our school this year," she said. "That's what we wanted, to increase our enrollment not just for numbers, but to increase our enrollment in map. The people in the community know we're here. They know this would be a good option for them if they want any kind of a Christian-based education."
Shields said she appreciates the new building.
"We feel like this is where God wants us to be. To be here, this year, on our 35th year," she said. "It is, I think, a great benefit for the community that we have this building and can use it, have school here, provide families with a great environment for their students to have. It's just going to be a blessing for all of us."