Grace Academy students and officials break ground on the extension of the school’s activity center on Jan. 8. From left, student Braxton Pearce, school pastor John Zimmer, board member John Williams, school administrator Timothy Lugg, and students Benjamin Impola and Bindi Pedersen.


Marysville’s Grace Academy broke ground on Jan. 8 for a $6 million extension of the school that will add new classrooms and improve the school’s activity center.

The local private Christian school had been planning an extension of the school for a couple of years.

“The starting reason was the science lab. We knew we needed a better science lab but we didn’t want to put just a little lab somewhere,” said school administrator Timothy Lugg.

The extension will be added to their activity center building, which currently houses classrooms, a gym and a commercial kitchen.

The expanded building will have seven new classrooms, including a new chemistry lab, a cafeteria commons and a refurbished gym floor.

“Thirty-two years ago the pastor and the elders broke ground on the activity center,” said John Zimmer, pastor for the school.

“Today we begin a new project and it’s been a long-time coming,” he said. “I’m pretty excited about what is in store for us in the future.”

Officials expect that the expansion will be finished in August.

“They actually come in and start tomorrow [Jan. 9], so it’s amazing how quickly this is going to turnaround,” said Lugg.

Creating a modern science lab was one of the biggest priorities for the school.

“Our high school science teachers have done a phenomenal job with our current lab facility,” said Lugg.

“But we’re happy to upgrade that facility and give them the classroom they need,” he said.

The additional classrooms will also allow the school to grow more, he said.

The kitchen and cafeteria will be more intuitively designed into the building with the extension of the activity center.

“Our kitchen staff has been so faithful and have done a hard-working job even though the kitchen has been separated from the lunch room,” for many years, said Lugg.

Elevators will also be part of the new construction, something that the building lacked before.

“This building was built before the ADA requirements were in place so in order to go from one floor to the next, you have to go up stairs,” said Lugg.

“Honestly we have had times where we had to turn students away because we didn’t have the facility to help them get up and down, and even more, a lot of times students have sports injuries and they’ve struggled with the current situation,” he said.

The addition of elevators should help solve those problems, he said.

The project still has about $1 million left to go before it is fully funded, said Lugg.

“We don’t get public funds and we’re not seeking that,” he said, but they are still seeking sources of donations.

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