Official Press Release
Printed in the Abbotsford News on April 5, 2019
Abbotsford Christian School (ACS) officially broke ground on Wednesday, April 3 as they replace, upgrade, and build onto their existing middle and secondary campus. This project comes on the heels of a successful capital campaign that saw the school raise a total of $10.5 million (and counting) from the community.
Several members of the ACS society spoke at the event about the value of creating a building with 21st Century learning spaces to support innovative learning.
“To be able to provide spaces that allow students to learn the competencies required for today is essential—and that’s the vision behind this building. We have a great city and a great community who believe in this wholeheartedly!” remarked Julius Siebenga, ACS Executive Director.
Special guest, Mayor Henry Braun encouraged the staff and students in his remarks. “You have a vision to engage students’ minds, hearts and souls—so that they can be well equipped to make a difference in this world…to bring hope and healing to a broken world—and I’ve seen it first hand in my many visits to your classes as you ask questions about climate change, transportation, redevelopment and homelessness—you are helping to solve problems right where you are.”
Nearly 800 middle and secondary students, staff, and community members counted down as the excavator came to life and the ground was broken at the location of what will be the new Learning Commons. In the spirit of the ACS’ entrepreneurial community, each of the shovels used in the ground breaking were designed and painted by students, parents, and teachers.
Reagan Van Belle, current grade 12 student and MC for the event, remarked that this generation of students has been blessed by the previous generation, and now “its our turn to pay it forward.”
The building project is set to be completed by late 2020 and includes 10 new classrooms, seven state-of-the-art science labs and makerspaces, multiple collaboration and presentation spaces, an expanded gymnasium, new front reception, and a flexible Learning Commons for everything from quiet group work areas to large-scale theatre productions.
Photo (left to right):
Steve Atsma – Building Project Coordinator
Amy Van Belle – Capital Campaign Co-Chair
Rick Thiessen – Capital Campaign Co-Chair and Board Chairperson
Alice Brandsma – Current ACS Grandparent/Honorary Member and former student of the first classroom in 1953
Henry Braun – Mayor of Abbotsford
Julius Siebenga – Executive Director