Horizon Christian School buys land for new campus

Three become one in an almost Scriptural development for Horizon Christian School.

The school has purchased the first five acres it needs to build a new campus in the Heights, enabling them to consolidate all students and programs on one site, instead of the three current locations. The 125-student school currently teaches grades K-4 at Valley Christian Church, grades 5-12 at First Baptist Church, and fine arts at Church of the Nazarene.

“Horizon has fully utilized the available space at these locations,” said Horizon board chairman Stan Love. “In order for the enrollment to continue to grow, a new consolidated campus was needed.”

The school’s 8.66-acre property is at the corner of 8th and Pacific in Hood River. Under the current timeline, construction would start in 2003. The school would open in the fall of 2004. The total project cost is $6 million including site acquisition, building permit and other city fees, building construction, and athletic field development. The building itself will cost approximately $3.8 million. Horizon project advisor Don Hoffman said the school will investigate purchasing industrial revenue bonds to be paid off at a staggered three-year, 10-year and 15-year schedule, as well as mount a community fund-raising campaign.

“Our goal is not to raise $6 million in the first year,” Hoffman said.

The new school will be a two-story building with a gymnasium and outdoor playfields. It will allow the school to expand from a current enrollment of approximately 170 to a capacity of approximately 550 students. At full capacity, the school would employ 50 people.

The new school will be six times larger than the total space now used. It will have a library, cafeteria, computer room, music and science labs, and full-size classrooms.

“To say this is exciting is an understatement,” said Carol Yates, business manager and development director for the school. “In the future we will be able to grow and enhance our teaching and programs and give the school the opportunity to become the kind of school we want it to be.”

Love said, “Good facilities create a climate for excellence.” Staff and parents had input in the schematic designs last fall, he added. Next, architects will develop working designs for the project.

The purchase is the culmination of a process that began last year with a purchase agreement being signed with the sellers, Sieverkropp Orchards, Inc., according to Hoffman.

The city issued the school’s Conditional Use Permit in October 2001. Hoffman said the school will purchase the remaining 3.66 acres by July 2003.

The school entrance will be on Pacific and the building will face south towards the new Hawks Ridge Assisted Living facility. DCA Support Group, a professional architecture firm located in Ogden, Utah, has been working with Horizon to customize one of their “Affordable School” layouts to the needs of the school.

Construction will be a Butler steel building; the outer shell costs approximately one-third less than conventional framing systems, according to Hoffman. Fabrication of the building occurs in a factory, making it less expensive to build than the site-built method.

According to Dan Cook, founder of DCA, “Our designs have been developed so that these would be a great addition to any community. The classrooms are attractive, and special purpose rooms such as the computer labs, the science lab and the library add to the functionality of the building design. The full-size gymnasium also has a stage area that can be used for fine arts performances. In addition, we benefit from the cumulative experience of multiple users of this design.”

Shepherd of the Valley Bible Church will be leasing approximately 4,500 square feet of exclusive use space in the new building and will also have access to school facilities during non-school hours. The site has been designed with the community in mind and has extensive landscaping at the south and west entrances to the campus and community access is provided on the north, west and south, according to Hoffman.

The site will accommodate regulation baseball and soccer fields that will be open to the public during non-school use daylight hours. Horizon Christian School is an interdenominational school educating kindergarten through 12th grade, with a staff of 15 and more than 170 students, representing over 25 churches in the Columbia Gorge. Contributions to the new campus fund may be sent to Horizon Christian School, 1889 Belmont Dr., Hood River, OR 97031.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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