Gym shell arrives at MLCA

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald Crews unloaded the first pieces of the exterior shell of the new Moses Lake Christian Academy gym Monday.

MOSES LAKE — Administrators at the Moses Lake Christian Academy couldn’t check the mail because the package was too big, but they were awaiting a delivery. They had been assured it was on its way. Soon – no exact date, but soon.

First thing Monday morning, the package finally arrived. Academy principal Stephanie Voigt drove into the parking lot, and the first truck was ready to unload pieces of the new MLCA gym.

The academy has use of a gym, but not on the MLCA campus. School officials have been working on a fundraising campaign and have raised about $450,000, Voigt said. The total project cost is about $1.2 million.

Money is being raised through donations, she said. “We’re going to keep building as the donations come in.”

So the fundraising isn’t finished, but with the possibility of a trade war over steel on the horizon, MLCA officials decided to buy the exterior steel shell now. They’re still working on raising the money to finish the interior, buy a gym floor and bleachers, and build locker rooms.

Academy officials are waiting for building permits, Voigt said, and once those are granted the next step is building the foundation. A local concrete company is donating the material and labor for the foundation, Voigt said. “It’s so fulfilling to know the community is behind this.”

The gym will be located next to the existing elementary school, the spot currently occupied by the soccer field. The academy owns land adjoining the campus, and the soccer field will be relocated there, along with other playing fields.

Academy officials have looked – and are still looking – for other funding sources, but as a private religious school MLCA doesn’t qualify for many of the possible grants, she said. They have looked at some alternatives, like a used gym floor – and actually found one in southern California. But preparation and shipping expenses raised the cost until it was almost as expensive as a new floor. (For the record, a gym floor costs about $130,000.)

Academy officials are accepting donations for the gym project. People who want more information, or who want to donate, can contact Voigt at MLCA. Summer hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

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