HURON — James Valley Christian School, which began as a dream more than 60 years ago, took another step to address a shortage of space Tuesday night.
At a ceremony attended by many in the community, the JVCS board members and administrators broke ground on a new, 33,000 squre foot, $5 million addtion that will house additional gymnasium space, as well as a dedicated 700-seat theater.
“Picek Construction is handling the build for us,” said JVCS administrator Brian Held. “We are expecting to begin work next week, with a target completion for the start of the 2019-20 school year.”
Held noted that the current gymnasium, which also converts into seating when needed for the current stage for concerts and the school’s annual dinner theater fundraiser, was in heavy demand.
“During the school year, we have basketball, volleyball, cheerleading and other activities that utilize the space,” he said. “When you have two practices stacked in the gymnasium, we were seeing students and coaches that were here until 8:30 in the evening, with some of them living up to 30 miles away.”
Having the additional new practice gymnasium/multi-purpose space will alleviate the late night practices and will provide more space for other activities and having a new theater for the school’s concerts, the dinner theater and other events.
“We’ve been studying this for the past couple of years, and made the decision to move on it now,” Held said. “Lud Hohm is heading up the building committee and Lynn Schneider leads our fundraising committee and both of them have worked hard to get us to this stage.”
JVC began operation in 1957, with 19 students in grades 9-12, at the original site north of Huron, near the James River. In 2000, the school was moved to its present location on the north side of Huron. Current enrollment is 220 students, in grades K-12, and has been steady in recent years.
PLAINSMAN PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL
Shown first is an artist’s rendition of what the entryway into the new auditorium may look like when completed.
Next, James Valley Christian School board members, committee chairs, administrators and others were on hand Tuesday night for the groundbreaking ceremony of the school’s new auditorium and gymnasium addition. Work is set to begin next week on the $5 million project, with competition targeted for the 2019-20 school year.