A year and a half ago one of our board members was attending a work event and ended up in the wrong suite. While in the wrong place she met a guy named William and they exchanged contact info. I’ll put a bookmark in this part of the story.
About a year ago UCA started working hard on creating more classroom space that would allow us to expand through 8th grade. Within the week that we committed to expansion we got a call from Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. They were committed to giving a portion of their upcoming capital campaign to invest in urban education and they wanted to know in what ways we were “taking new ground.” We told them about our need to create more classroom space and they pledged $160,000 to the cause.
After extensive research we decided to move forward with a plan to install a modular unit next to our existing building that would add three additional classrooms, an office, and a few bathrooms for $150,000. Unfortunately, when we met with the city we were told all of the requirements would cost nearly $800,000 in additional costs before we could get an occupancy permit. Our cost effective solution suddenly became very unreasonable.
By this point it’s January of 2020. We have absolutely utilized every inch out of our current space and we need to be ready to house 116 scholars by August.
This feels like the part of the story where the Israelites end up trapped between a sea and an army in hot pursuit of them.
Then William called. Yes, the same William our board member met because she was in the wrong place. He told us about a 28,000 sq ft building that was on the market with a seller eager to sell and willing to drop the price significantly if we could close in 30 days. Providentially, they said they would sell for $150,000.
This feels like the part of the story when God parts the Red Sea. The part where suddenly there is a way when there absolutely was not a way before.
After a whirlwind of events, on February 21st we closed on the building with a purchase price of $135,000. Today we walked through the building with our 5th grade crew who have been faithfully beside us for the past 6 years and praying hard for room to grow. It’s wildly exciting and absolutely terrifying. We have an enormous amount of work ahead to make the space fully functional for our growing community.
To be honest, we have more questions than answers. More hopes than solid plans. And we’re totally okay with that. We see God at work in this and we’re running towards whatever it is that He’s up to.
If you want to get involved in this exciting season there are a few ways:
Work Day: On March 14th from 9am - noon we will be hosting our first work day. We will be clearing out the building to get it ready for the upcoming projects.
Building Stories Campaign: In April we will be launching a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to raise funds to complete all the projects. We’d love to have you set up a page to share with your sphere of influence! If you’d like more info send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org