Flint Hills Christian School has big plans for expansion.
Pottawatomie County commissioners heard Flint Hills Christian School’s three-phase expansion and renovation plan at Monday’s meeting.
Flint Hills Christian is a private preK through 12th grade school on Green Valley Road in the southwest part of Pottawatomie County. School officials deemed the expansion necessary because of student population growth and long wait lists. Construction will start with the elementary school wing at the end of May, according to FHCS board member Moni El-Aasar, who presented the plan.
The first phase of the project will seek to provide at least two classrooms for preschool through sixth grade, and a safe room for severe weather that will also serve as the band and choir room.
El-Aasar said the project will cost about $5.7 million, with more than $3.1 million already raised through donations and pledges.
The second phase will consist of constructing two volleyball courts, a basketball court, and a new auditorium and stage. An expansion of the secondary education side which will allow for more electives and bigger classroom sizes is part of the third phase.
“It is a very aggressive plan but we have a lot of people who are interested and they have offered many donations,” El-Aasar said.
Commissioner Pat Weixelman inquired about the time line for starting the project, and El-Aasar said that plans should be finished by the beginning of May and then the bid letting will happen.
Phase I is set be completed by the start of the fall 2022 semester.
Once the new building is constructed, El-Aasar proposed that school traffic start entering the parking lot from Green Valley Road and leaving on Elk Creek Road. He also noted, once the school passes a capacity of 200 students, traffic will be hard to handle so he requested a school zone.
County Counselor John Watt suggested that he speak with the Public Works Department and an engineer to coordinate planning a zone.
In addition to a school zone, parents and students brought concerns about crossing the Green Valley Road bridge to the commissioners. They said as there is no sidewalk or clearing around the bridge, it makes it difficult for students to cross the road safely.
Commissioner Dee McKee replied the commission is working with the state to get approval and money to fix the safety issues surrounding the bridge.
Weixelman asked if a crossing guard would be a feasible option until something could be done.
“If you’ve got a crossing guard or maybe two they could work in conjunction,” he said.