Southwest Covenant school launches $8.2 million capital campaign

Southwest Covenant has announced an $8.2 million capital campaign that will be used to construct a new high school and athletic facilities.

The private Christian-based school located on Yukon Parkway, not far from Yukon High School, has 434 students in grades pre-k through 12th grade.

Headmaster Steve Lessman said the capital campaign was announced to its parents earlier this school year, but is just now becoming widely known.

The largest single element of the project is a $3.7 million high school that will be located on the eastern edge of the campus.

Southwest Covenant owns about 10 acres of wooded property. Lessman said that area will be utilized for the expansion project.

Lessman said the high school will include 12 classrooms, a safe room, administration offices and a cafeteria.

There also are plans for a gymnasium and event center that will seat 750 people, and includes a weightroom, offices and a conference room; a new baseball field, a football field and renovations to the current high school facility so that it can become a junior high also are included in the project.

Lessman said the campaign is being called the BIG Vision.

That stands for Build, Influence and Grow.

This is the second major fundraising project the school has taken on in the past few years. The students moved into its elementary school just two years ago, but knew immediately that further expansion was going to be needed, said Lessman.

Thus planning began on the BIG Vision.

“This is a capital campaign. It is asking people to invest in this ministry. We need small investors, but to reach our goal of $8.2 million we will need some significant investors who believe in Christian-based education and want to be a part of helping us to grow,” Lessman said.

So far, the school has received about $1 million in pledges, plus has received a promise to match up to $1 million.

“It is just beginning. Hopefully, we can get that matched by the end of the year,” he said.

Lessman said the goal is to reach at least $3 million by the end of the year and to raise the entire amount within three years.

The elementary school project was about $4 million and took two years to raise, he said.

“We hope to have it raised in one year, but that is pretty big expectation,” Lessman said.

The school won’t have to raise all of the money before the project can begin. Lessman said once $3 million is raised, the school can begin construction on the classrooms, which are the top priority.

“As soon as we can, we’d like to get there,” he said.

Lessman said the community has responded.

“We are very excited about it and very encouraged by the response of our school family and encouraged by some people outside our school who support Christian-based education. We’re thrill with the opportunity we have in front of us,” he said.

However, he also pointed out that raising $8.2 million will be a challenge.

“We’re going to have to work hard. It is a lot of money and at times, it feels like an overwhelming amount. But we’re not trying to build some spectacular shrine. We’re trying to build what we need to provide a Christian education,” Lessman said.

The impetus is growth.

Lessman said the school has seen significant student growth through the past year and already is receiving calls for next school year.

He estimates that student enrollment could be well over 500 in the next three years.

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