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Increasing enrollment calls for school expansion

Posted on May 14, 2014 by Taber Times

Taber Christian School broke ground in mid-April on a large expansion which would see a $1.4 million two-story east wing added to the school to tackle an increase in enrollment.

“They’re hoping to have us using the facility by September,” said John Bronsema, outgoing school principal at TCS. “We’re thankful for the work they’re doing.”

The addition includes six classrooms, with a primary wing on the main floor (Kindergarten and Grade 1), and an intermediate wing on the second floor, including Grades 4 to 6.

Each floor will have resource and multipurpose rooms where small groups can get together to work. There will also be some renovations around the school, including upgrades to the staff room and possibly the library as well.

The decision to make the addition came after enrollment numbers began to grow in the school, something Bronsema said administration was confident would continue in the future due to a number of different factors. Those factors include the continued affordability of the program as well as some growth from local immigrant communities, and also what Bronsema sees as a larger profile of the school in the community due in part to TCS joining the Horizon School Division.

“As parents reflect on the values they would like their children to be educated with, or the environment, more and more parents will look at our school as an environment they are interested in,” he said.

A previous addition to the school which focused on facilities for music, art, woodworking, has been finished for two years.

As an alternative program, Bronsema said his school receives no government funding for expansion, and instead relies on the will and generosity of families involved with the school to make these kind of projects happen.

“We do not get government funding for any capital projects,” said Bronsema. “We buy buses, and these expansions are funded through parents and fundraising.”

Bronsema said the addition will be financed and a mortgage will be put in place, with future fundraising events going to help cover the costs.

With the new addition, Bronsema said the school should accommodate up to 350 students. The school currently houses about 240 students from Kindergarten to Grade 9 as well as a pre-K program.

Bronsema said the addition will allow TCS to continue to make good decisions about education in the future.

“Facilities don’t make the program,” he said. “But they help.”

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