Edgerton Christian Elementary School breaks ground on expansion project
EDGERTON — Students, faculty, staff and community members gathered Friday for the groundbreaking ceremony at Edgerton Christian Elementary School (ECES) to kick off phase one of the school’s $4.3 million expansion project.
“This idea for an expansion actually started before I became principal,” Principal Randy Pfeifle said. “They wanted to expand the building back in 2008, and at that time the idea was to only add on a gymnasium, but it was at that time that the stock market crashed so that idea was put on hold.”
ECES is embarking on a two-phase process for the project. The first will add 4,100-square-foot addition that will include a new preschool and kindergarten at a cost of $800,000. Construction will begin next week, with an estimated completion date of August to be ready for the upcoming school year.
“Last year we revisited the idea of an expansion again, but there were several other areas we needed to address besides just adding on a gym,” Pfeifle said. “Right now, our kindergarten classroom is still technically on campus, but it’s not in the same building, and that is something that we want to fix not only for safety reasons, but to make it more of a community having us all under one roof.”
The school has also opened up a preschool, which is currently being operated at Bethel Christian Reformed Church, but Pfeifle said the plan is to bring the preschoolers into ECES.
“Phase one of the project is all about getting us under one roof,” Pfeifle said. “We want the school to feel like a community because ECES is committed to working with a child from the time they are baptized until eighth grade.”
With the completion of the first phase, the board plans to immediately begin the 18,100-square-foot second phase, which will add a new auditorium/gymnasium, music room, stage, locker rooms and administrative offices. The cost for the second phase is $3.5 million.
In less than three months of fundraising, supporters have already pledged nearly $2 million to the project.
“For the second phase we need $2.55 million on hand and $3.5 million pledged,” Pfeifle said. “We’re about $1.5 million away from both of them.”
Edgerton Christian’s last expansion was completed 25 years ago. Student numbers have increased by more than 50 in the last five years, creating space conflicts.
“The second phase is to tackle some of our space issue, as we project that student numbers will keep increasing,” Pfeifle said.
In addition to the Edgerton community, ECES draws students from Luverne, Jasper, Pipestone, Holland and Slayton. The expansion will create space for both classroom and extracurricular activities to fit with the school’s mission of educating students for Christ in all areas.
“We’ve called this project the ‘Pass It On’ Expansion Project as a way to reflect back on the way that many of us have been blessed over the years by Edgerton Christian,” Board President Jonathan Pap explains. “Now we get to help pass on that legacy of Christian education to the next generation.”
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.