A part of the “Dream Big” campaign, the Newton Christian School is expecting to open its new preschool in the fall. The preschool will be a new endeavor for the school, which has never offered any pre-kindergarten education in its curriculum.
The preschool is to serve as an extension of Newton Christian School’s mission by “nurturing children to discover God and explore learning in a creative environment,” according to the school’s promotional materials. About 20 churches are represented by the Newton Christian School student body.
The preschool classrooms are one part of the larger “Dream Big” expansion planned for the school. Unveiled in April 2018, the $3.5 million project includes linking the two current buildings into a single structure and increasing the size of the school to 38,000 square feet. The school previously purchased the former Woodworks building north of its present location.
With the K-8 student body inching closer to 100 kids, principal Mary Patterson told the Newton Daily News last April the school has been using every square inch of its current building. Patterson said the staff had to get creative as they looked for ways to maximize space. Several grade levels have been combined with students sharing a classroom.
“We are maxed out on our space here. We wanted to look at how we could incrementally grow beyond our space here,” Patterson said.
Along with the preschool, the campaign includes ideas such as larger single grade classrooms, a gymnasium, music and art rooms, a larger library, a large resource room, secured entires, a private pull-through drive, technology updates and a maintenance fund.
Completion of the preschool will be Phase One of the project. Project coach and consultant Jon Dunwell said about 2,000 square feet will be dedicated to the preschool classrooms. Promotional materials designate 3-year-old care on Tuesdays and Thursdays while 4-year-old care is assigned to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
For Patterson, growth is the next logical step for the school, which draws from a diverse group of churches in the county. According to the school’s website, for Phase One, $285,000 of the $770,000 goal has already been raised. Several fundraisers has helped move the project forward, along with donations to the school.
“Each time we take a step, the funds happen to show up,” Patterson said. “We’ve stepped out on faith and God provided the money.”
For more information on the new preschool, contact the school at 641-792-1924.
Reporters Christopher Braunschweig and Dave Dolmage contributed to this story.