Catherine Steele Sewell Stadium Mount Paran Christian School Photo by Tiffany Westbrook

Educating the whole child is about more than a well-balanced curriculum, but also providing a safe and up-to-date location for a child to learn, in addition to innovative programs that help a young person excel throughout their elementary, middle and high school years. That being said, a number of Cobb County’s independent and public schools have some improvements to buildings and program options that were recently completed, prepping students for a great school year, and are still underway, setting the stepping stones for the schools’ futures.

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For example, North Cobb Christian School in Kennesaw has a number of improvements in the works for its students, staff and school community. After recently completing the new school entrance, they are adding tennis courts with construction beginning this fall. In addition, they are renovating the fields and updating the pavilion so that it can be usable in all seasons, while also installing more bleacher seating in the football stadium. The purpose of these improvements is to bring more activities that the school hosts on campus. The most significant enhancement is North Cobb Christian’s improved dual enrollment program. In the past, they’ve had a relationship with Kennesaw State University, but now they’re adding a unique dual enrollment program with Shorter University that began earlier this fall.

“Graduates are consistently sharing how well-prepared they are for university and that is something we strive for and value. But we also want to improve on our ability to set our graduates apart when they apply for higher education,” says NCCS Head of School Todd Clingman.

Vice President for Enrollment Management at Shorter University Emily Messer says they are excited about the new partnership. “We are pleased that NCCS students will have access to Shorter University courses at their own school. Most importantly, we believe it is essential that both institutions have harmonious Christian missions while focusing on excellence in academics.”

Some of North Cobb Christian’s teachers will also be teaching classes for the program on their own campus. The goal is to hopefully give a competitive edge and take away any possible scheduling conflicts that students might have. Students have already been encouraged to sign up for this program to show their dedication to pursuing a higher education.

Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw recently dedicated the Catherine Steele Sewell Stadium during its football season home opener. The $3.2 million project is part of phase two of the school’s Imagine Tomorrow Capital Campaign that was initiated with $16.5 million purchase of the Murray Arts Center (MAC) during phase one and completed in 2012. The 84,400-square-foot performing arts center was built on the campus in 2006 and paid for by Mount Paran parent Don Dozier.

Constructed by Brasfield & Gorrie and designed by architect Howell Rusk Dodson, the stadium holds approximately 2,500 people and is also home to William A. Cooper Memorial Field, Pugmire Ford-Lincoln Eagle Walk, Newsome Ticket Center and Yake Sports Medicine Center. Funds were raised for it following Mount Paran’s 2014 state championship in football. Near the stadium and baseball complex, the school will soon be dedicating the Knox Athletic Performance Center for training athletes. The stadium also includes a newly surfaced track, children’s play area, concession stand, locker room, family restrooms, pedestrian plaza and expanded visitor seating.

Phase two of the capital campaign also includes raising approximately $10 million to build a proposed high school addition. To date, nearly $2.5 million has been committed to the project. MPCS Headmaster Dr. David Tilley says that as enrollment and program offerings in the high school have grown, Mount Paran is expanding classroom space for ninth through 12th-graders. The new facility will allow the school to expand arts program in the MAC, as well as providing a science, technology, engineering and math wing. Once funds have been raised, construction will begin.

“The staff and parents of MPCS are committed to providing our students with excellent academics and preparation to become Christ-centered servant-leaders,” Tilley says. “With the opening of the stadium and the prospect of a high school addition, there is tremendous anticipation and excitement from all members of the MPCS community.”

Accommodating Growth

Additional Cobb Schools construction projects completed recently include: Teasley Elementary, 20-classroom addition, new gym and enlarged kitchen and cafeteria, $15 million; Smitha Middle, HVAC replacement, $5 million; Powder Springs Elementary, HVAC replacement, $3 million; Lost Mountain Middle, new roof, $3 million; and Hightower Trail Middle, new roof, $2 million.

To learn more about each school’s projects and programs, be sure to visit district and individual independent school websites. Details related to construction dates, as well as costs and contractors, may be available.

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