New year, new school: Moffat County Christian Academy prepares to open
CRAIG — Sometimes, when one school closes another opens.
Calvary Baptist School — a private Christian school at Calvary Baptist Church — has closed. On Jan. 8, a new school — Moffat County Christian Academy — will open with about 65 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Eagle’s Nest Preschool is a separate entity and will remain housed in the Calvary Baptist Church building.
Most of the CBS teachers and the A Beka curriculum are also moving to the new school.
The change is primarily a result of growing enrollment and a desire to cater to all Christians. A seven-member board of education governs the new school.
“It became evident to some of us that the school would need to move. We had outgrown the area we were using,” said Sari Cobb, MCCA board of education member. “It needed to come out from under a denomination. It’s a Christian-based school, but not affiliated with any denomination.”
It’s taken a community of volunteers a little more than a month to rapidly renovate an existing industrial building at 214 Clay St. into a temporary school. Owners have waived rent for the building, which is listed for sale, allowing tuition to remain the same at the new school as it was at CBS.
“I cannot believe how incredibly generous this community has been. People have come out of the woodwork to offer us large amounts of money and others, smaller gifts that were huge for them personally to make,” Cobb said.
She said the community-wide effort to get the school ready to open in January involved large numbers of congregants from churches across the community. People who are not affiliated with any church and a long list of business donors — including Masterworks Mechanical, Severson Supply & Rental, D & T Electric, A1 Rooter, Mountain West Insurance, Kristy Bruce with Loaf n Jug, Gaius Wilkinson with GW Construction and “many, many more” — were among those giving time, supplies and money toward the project.
“God has truly provided beyond everything we could have hoped. We have the most amazing support system, parents, students and staff, and I know that this school will be a blessing to this community,” said seventh- and eighth-grade teacher Amanda Hayes.
It’s not only the paint on the walls that’s fresh; so, too, is the school’s relationship with the community and public school system.
“MCCA is new, fresh. Our colors are blue and white. Any students coming here that want to be a part of the public schools — such as to participate in sports or music — they can join with other Moffat County students. We are part of the community, as a whole,” Cobb said.
Parents are praising the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect between private and public schools.
“The new school board has been very supportive of the public schools. They appreciate Zach Allan and the administration,” said parent Amy Fontenot.
The facility on Clay Street is to serve as a temporary home for the school while the MCCA board pursues a permanent location. One option under consideration is the acquisition of East Elementary School, which Moffat County School District will be closing later this year.
“It is something that the school would like to look into and see if it would work for them or us. We don’t know. We are going to have a dialogue,” Cobb said. “There are so many empty buildings in Craig, we would like to repurpose an existing building rather than build something new.”
Eventually, MCCA would like to offer a high school program, something to be considered when the board chooses a permanent home.
“Our focus right now is to get our new school up and running and our kids here,” Cobb said.
While many classes are full, and enrollment for the spring semester has officially closed, anyone new to the area or interested in this option is invited to contact new MCCA Principal Robbie Roberts.
“God is amazing,” Cobb said. “As we started looking, he started filling in the holes. He provided.”
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.
In early April, pinwheels were planted on the lawn at McDonald’s in Craig to help raise awareness of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.