VANCOUVER, Wash. — Assuming that friends of a Christian school in Portland took some quick action by the time this newspaper went to press, that school will launch classes next fall in a second campus across the Columbia River in Vancouver.
City Christian School, which operates out of Mannahouse Church’s Rocky Butte campus at 9200 N.E. Fremont in Portland, plans to acquire the former campus of Seton Catholic High School at 811 N.E. 112th Ave. The Catholic school had leased the 14,000 square-foot building from its founding in 2009 until it moved in 2016 to a site five miles away.
City Christian School will by next fall change its name to Mannahouse Christian Academy, reflecting the recent change in name by its sponsoring church, which was formerly City Bible Church.
Mannahouse will expand to Vancouver with kindergarten through fifth-grade classes.
“It will allow us to better serve our Vancouver families, provide smaller class sizes at Rocky Butte and help meet the demand of new families longing to give their children a quality Christian education,” Lynden Evans, the school’s principal, wrote in a letter to the school’s constituents. “There are few honors greater than preparing the next generation for a life of faith, purpose and success. And with the Vancouver expansion, God is giving us an opportunity to help even more young people be a transforming influence in the world.”
Evans said both the building owners and the Vancouver city government are excited to have City Christian establish a campus in Vancouver.
“The typical City Hall red tape has been a breeze to navigate and the property owners have agreed to a price and terms that are more than fair,” wrote Evans.
He added that the building is “phenomenal” for serving as an elementary school campus. It includes eight classrooms, six offices, a cafeteria, a multipurpose room and various spaces for additional electives. The multipurpose room can be used for indoor play and activities, chapel services, and general space for the community and local non-profits to use during after school hours.
Classrooms come equipped with “smartboards” utilizing the latest technology to enhance the learning experience.
City Christian administrators note that expanding into an existing school building will minimize building enhancements and allow the classes to be established with little to no extra expense.
In addition to the building itself, the purchase also includes an adjacent six-tenths-of-an-acre vacant, grassy lot that will provide an area for playground equipment, sporting events, and open spaces for children to play. The grassy area will be multipurpose and versatile, including various types of sporting equipment and field markings to accommodate as many school and community programs as possible. Various outdoor structures and movable tents will be available for school and community use to protect students from the weather during the cold winter months.
The school also anticipates providing space to several community outreach ministries dedicated to serving southwest Washington families.
The purchase agreement for the building called for a large down payment of $750,000 by Dec. 31 toward the total $4.1 million purchase price. In mid- December, when Evans sent the letter, the school had in hand $600,000 of that amount.
“However, due to a setback with one of our funding partners, we are suddenly short of the needed amount,” he stated. “We are now contacting friends who understand the importance and value of Christian education to request help raising the remaining balance.”
City Christian School has experienced significant growth, reaching a point where administrators say more building space is critical. The Portland school currently has more than 600 students enrolled in preschool through 12th grade, with approximately 149 in high school, 134 in middle school, 342 in grades K-5 and preschool.
A task force was established in 2015 to come up with a plan to expand the school. After considering available resources, the decision was made to expand to Vancouver due to the growing need of families living in Clark County.
For more information, contact Evans at 503-252-5207 or firstname.lastname@example.org