WilmingtonFAVS’ Religious Art Walking Tour has gone national!
Our press release is on the Religion News LLC site.
- Amanda Greene

WilmingtonFAVS’ Religious Art Walking Tour has gone national!

Our press release is on the Religion News LLC site.

- Amanda Greene

Coastal Christian High School students are getting a new building…and a new leader


Coastal Christian High School students are getting closer to coming home—permanently.

Though their new building on The King’s Highway won’t be quite ready for the start of school, it could be ready to move in by November or January at the latest, school officials said this week.

"The dry weather we’ve had up to this point has helped us be ahead of schedule," said Cindy Auten, the school’s development director.

They’ll spend most of the first semester at their current location inside Temple Baptist Activity Center.

And when students and parents attend one last orientation at 709 George Anderson Drive at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 20, they will have a new principal to get to know as well.

Dr. Lorne Wenzel is the new interim head of school for Coastal Christian as it transitions into its new building in the 2012-2013 school year. Recently, he led Pacific Academy in Vancouver, B.C., a K-12 school with more than 1,400 students.

The school’s board of directors will lead a national search for a permanent director this year, officials said.

"I have reached the point in my career where I have stopped striving to serve in the next larger-sized school," Wenzel said in a press release, "and am able to more accurately assess where my gifts and passions meet the greatest need and can bear the most fruit in the individual lives of students.”

Coastal Christian’s first principal, Kirk Nielsen, left this summer to take a position as the new headmaster at Gramercy Christian School in Newport, N.C.

New digs

In June, after Coastal Christian’s steel walls went up, attendees at the Magnify fundraising concert penned scriptures and well-wishes in permanent ink on the steel.

An inscription by R.H. Williams said: “By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established, through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24: 3-4.”

Most of those scriptures are covered now by insulation and drywall as construction crews ready the school’s rooms for paint, flooring and furnishings.

Entering the 26,000 square foot building, the administrative offices will be to the immediate left. The school’s classrooms wrap around the multipurpose gymnasium and stage in the middle of the building.

As the school grew from about 40 students in 2006 to about 200 this year, it has used every available space as classrooms inside the activity center.

"Kids are still signing up now where at this time last year, we were having to put people on a waiting list," said Cindy Auten, development director.The new building’s capacity is 350 students.

Staying the building into the first semester is going to mean some adjustments because of the school’s growth, Auten said. Some students with their licenses will drive down the street to take their AP classes in the nearby Christ Community Church.

But once they get into their new building, the benefits will outweigh the inconveniences this fall.

Each teacher will have his or her own classroom, plus a teacher’s lounge.  Art teacher Gabe Lovejoy will no longer have to move his students art projects each weekend to make way for Temple Baptist Church’s weekend programs.

The school’s active drama program will have a dressing room and a larger stage. Though the school’s cafeteria will be in its second building phase, the school will have a room for food storage and for food brought in by outside food vendors.

"Temple has been so good to us, bu if we wanted to grow we have to get over here," Auten added.

For the sports programs, all students will have to do to go to practice, in most cases, is exit their new locker rooms and out the gym door onto the sports fields.

Auten’s daughter, Caroline, was part of the first class to go all four years at Coastal Christian High School.

"It’s a huge chance we all took because high school is so important, but we’re sending students to Wake Forest, Carolina and so many top universities," she said. "But this has come from the community pulling together like it always has to make Coastal Christian what God wants it to be - his church in his school."

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