By Julien A Luebbers
The Spokesman Review
The Oaks Classical Christian Academy hopes a new, 42,000-square-foot building will be open in September 2023 after breaking ground last month.
Students, faculty, families, administrators and local pastors gathered on June 17 to celebrate the beginning of the construction.
The Oaks is a private K-12, Classical Christian school located in the Spokane Valley. In its 26 years, the school has graduated almost 300 students through its Christian curriculum.
The Oaks started construction after a successful fundraising drive that raised $8 million.
“I have been thoroughly blessed and encouraged by the response of the Oaks families and community,” said Charlie Dowers, head of the school.
“Their enthusiasm for the mission of the school and gratefulness for the opportunity to be a part of it has been thoroughly encouraging and inspiring.”
Since its founding in 1996, the Oaks has rented three different locations for its K-12 students. As the school has grown to its current size of 355 students, it has moved into larger and larger spaces.
The first floor of the building is designed to replace classrooms that will be lost in coming years due to the impending end of their lease with Valley Fourth Memorial Church. The construction site is on the lot adjacent to the church, so the students will not need to move far.
The first floor will also feature a communal gathering space.
“In the center of the building is sort of a great hall space that we intend to use to both gather the community, but primarily to sing songs and hymns,” said Dowers.
Currently, the school gathers in a gymnasium. In the new building, Dowers said, the school would “be able to read books together, do different studies, even have a space to be able to sing in.” He also hopes to use the space for “various conferences” and “ministry development.”
The $8 million raised so far is enough to begin construction, but the total cost of the building’s first floor is an estimated $12.5 million. The building’s second floor does not yet have an estimated cost, though it is planned.
Dowers said the Oaks is “doing two things: It’s equipping kids to love the Lord and to love their neighbors.”