When Lincoln Lutheran students start school next fall, they will be welcomed with three new classrooms dedicated specifically to science education. A $615,000 renovation project will re-purpose two different areas within the building. Two current high school science classrooms will be transformed into one larger life sciences classroom, a prep room and a guidance center. The other part of the project will re-purpose currently unused space into a chemistry and physics lab, a science lecture classroom and a prep room.
Lincoln Lutheran Executive Director Scott Ernstmeyer says the new space and resources are long overdue. “We have outstanding teachers who have been creative and innovative with undersized classrooms and limited resources. Because so many of our graduates transition into post-secondary fields of study connected to the sciences, we felt it was important to expose students to resources and opportunities that would fully prepare them for their future.” Ernstmeyer and other school leaders took tours of area public and non-public schools to determine best practices and ensure the new space will meet or exceed the quality of resources within the community.
In the late 1990’s Lincoln Lutheran transitioned from offering a 7th-9th grade junior high program to a full junior and senior high school. Due to budget limitations at the time, a planned science wing expansion was cut from the building project. Ernstmeyer says science classrooms have been on the school’s wish list ever since. “Schools have many needs and we’ve been blessed to work on a variety of projects over the past fifteen years that have had a positive impact on the educational experience our students receive. We are thankful to have been blessed with some wonderful financial gifts allowing us to make this important upgrade to our facility. It will open up new opportunities for learning by our students.”
The renovation was able to start moving forward when the school secured a $300,000 matching gift. Director of Ministry Advancement Lloyd Wagnitz has been researching and writing proposals to secure grants ever since. These efforts have generated additional grants and donations totaling $252,000 with awards ranging between $2,000 and $100,000. Wagnitz is thankful that the process has largely stayed clear of the school’s traditional donor base. “We know how gracious our donors are and how much they sacrifice to help us pursue our ministry. It has been a real blessing to connect with area foundations who are excited to be a part of our project.”
Construction on the project will begin this spring with a scheduled completion date of mid-July. The guidance center will include an office for the Guidance Director and provide space for a small student lounge. New classrooms will be outfitted with all new equipment and furnishings.
Lincoln Lutheran Middle and High School provides faith-based education for students in grades 6-12. For more information about the science renovation or other programs and offerings contact Principal Matt Heibel at email@example.com