KENNESAW — By October, North Cobb Christian School seeks to break ground on a new $10.3 million project that will grant the school space for another 120 high school students, according to school leadership.

The two-story building and other amenities will be built in two phases on nine acres next to the school's main building at 4500 Eagle Drive, Kennesaw, according to Head of School Todd Clingman.

Clingman said the first phase will include a 40,000-square-foot building with 26 classrooms, a robotics lab, administrative and college advising offices, among other resources. The 27,000-square-foot second phase building will house chemistry and biology labs, a new cafeteria and student commons spaces.

The school hopes to have the first phase complete in October 2020, according to Tara Dorsey, the school's director of development.

Clingman said the new facility will move some existing science, technology, engineering and math courses and creative spaces out of existing buildings, as well as provide opportunities for expansion of those programs. 

"In our high school, we have a STEM academy, which is basically like an endorsement on your diploma," Clingman said. "This maker space and robotics lab will help our STEM academy for our high school, but we're also designing it so the middle school and lower school students can have some opportunity in there as well — after school, summer camps, etc."

Clingman said the project will also help to relieve congestion in the school's main building, as well as add a softball/middle school baseball field and 140 additional parking spaces.

"The really cool thing for us is that we're going to do it debt free," he said, adding that the school has raised about $7.9 million in 18 months from individual and foundation donations. "We've had a lot of private donors — mostly our parents, our grandparents, alumni, alumni parents and a couple of friends of the school."

But, he said, the school has also received two large foundation gifts, one for $500,000 and a $1 million pledge that will be donated when the school raises $1.4 million more dollars, bringing its total to $9.3 million.

"There's two things we have to do to get the million: We have to get the other pledges in-hand, and we have to break ground," Clingman said.

Dorsey said the fundraising campaign for the new facility is "the largest campaign we've ever done here at this school."

She said the fundraising success is thanks to the family and staff involvement at the school. One-third of money raised so far has come from grandparents of students, and the school's 150 staff members have contributed about $280,000, Dorsey said.

She also said every member of the board of directors, faculty and staff have given something to the campaign.

North Cobb Christian School is a private Christian school, serving students in pre-K through 12th grade. The school enrolls about 380 high school students.

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