Conway Christian announced a big change coming to its campus during the school's parent orientation on Monday.
"Tonight's event will highlight our parent partnership, discuss need[-]to[-]know items for this school year, and feature an eciting announcement regarding the future plans for Conway Christian," officials posted to the school's Facebook page Aug. 12.
Parents filed into the gym at 6 p.m. Monday, eager to hear the news. During the event, officials announced a $2.5 million matching grant from an anonymous donor to start a new capital campaign.
The school does have a goal to raise an additional $2.5 million by December 2020.
The million-dollar plans include building the first phase of a new high school to benefit academics, arts and athletics.
In addition, the new building will also feature a multi-purpose venue with "full acoustics," sound and lighting, "high quality" space for fine arts and atletics and additional classrooms to allow for other restructuring across the campus to have an elementary school for preschool to fourth-grade students, an intermediate school for fifth through eighth and a high school for students in ninth-12th grade — currently, the campus contains an upper and lower school.
School officials went back on the school's Facebook page shortly after the announcement was made to share the news with the community.
"Wow!" one user commented. "How wonderful! God touched someone's heart."
Conway's Troy Braswell — a Faulkner County Circuit Court Judge — and his wife, Karla, have two children enrolled in the school. Their son, Trey, is starting second grade and their daughter, Mia, is going into kindergarten.
Conway Christian's first day back is Aug. 14.
"We are excited about the wonderful news for our school and for Faulkner County," Braswell told the Log Cabin Democrat. "This donation will help make Conway Christian a leading Christian School in our state."
The Conway father said the school's board and president Jason Carson, "have done a great job," analyzing the strength's and weaknesses of the school and "understand that quality" is more important than quantity.
"While expanding helps grow the size of the building, it does [m]ore to create a well[-]rounded student," Braswell said. "It is vital that schools offer strong academics, arts and athletics while being committed to providing a Christian education experience. Our kids love attending chapel, praying and learning more about the Bible and our faith."
He said their family is excited to see good things happenign at the school.
"It will be a special day when our kids and other kids from across Faulkner County directly benefit from this generous donation," Braswell said.
Conway-resident Bridget Keylor and her husband, Josh, have two children. Both are also enrolled in the private school.
Keylor said they're excited for what's coming to Conway Christian.
"Healthy things grow and I appreciate the vision of [t]rustees and [Jason] Carson to see the school grow to the point it can expand[,] not only in size[,] but also the fine arts programs they offer students," she said. "The addition of an intermediate building will also be a huge blessing to future families."
According to school officials, as soon as the school raises the additional $2.5 million — again, the goal is by December 2020 — construction on the facility will immediately begin.
Conway Christian was founded in 1992.
In that time, it has garnered an average student population of around 500 each year and has grown to include the following art and athletic offerings:
• Choral, band, drama, quiz bowl and visual arts.
• Football, cross country, golf, tennis, volleyball, cheerleading, basketball, track & field, baseball, softball, soccer, trap shooting and bowling..
Staff writer Hilary Andrews can be reached at email@example.com.