Record Staff Writer
Gateway Christian School held a groundbreaking ceremony on its planned state-of-the-art science lab Monday evening.
The new lab, expected to be completed in the next four to six months, will seat 24 students and have six lab stations, said school superintendent Rev. Rick Rapp.
“It’s going to get a lot of use,” Rapp told the large group of parents and children crowded around the fenced-off lot Monday. “It’s another dream come true. We are truly blessed.”
The school owns 54 acres, Rapp said, which leaves plenty of room to grow. But school officials are committed to building the science lab, and a future junior high and high school building, “debt free,” he said.
“We are not going to start until we have the money to do what we’re going to do,” Rapp said. “I really can’t wait until we have the entire junior high and high school completed.”
The science lab will serve mostly junior high and high school students, providing equipment and lab facilities for biology, chemistry, physics, physical science and general science.
Wade Construction will oversee the build, Rapp said. The concept was first drawn up some three years ago.
“Our high school kids have done well in science, but to go to the next level and improve, we needed a science lab,” Rapp said. “We want to be top notch.”
Biology teacher Holly Tipton said her students would now be able to dissect and carry out experiments in the lab, instead of trying to use classrooms.
“It will be really nice to have a space for it,” Tipton said.
The school has an estimated 300 students, who range from preschoolers to 12th-graders. Some of the lower-grade students might also be able to use the lab, Tipton said.
Jonathan Bush, Gateway’s high school math and science teacher, said the lab would allow his students to put to practice what he is teaching them in class.
“When it comes to chemistry, sometimes just talking about it in the classroom doesn’t give them a full picture,” Bush said.
Students can put the classroom lectures into action, he said.
Students will also be able to see certain forces in motion with a physics lab, such as sound and light behaviors.
“It will just reinforce what I’m teaching them in the classroom,” Bush said.