Inherent in the construction of Merritt Hall, our boys’ residence, in 2002, there was an effort to tie it architecturally and aesthetically to the historical buildings (Perry, McPhee, and Hotchkiss Halls) on our campus. Our desire is to connect Ellis Hall to the others with similar design elements that provide a unified aesthetic while addressing the other issues of concern outlined in this brochure. In this effort, the façade, entry, and central hall that provides access to the cafeteria and gym will all be significantly renovated. At the centre of this project is the installation of an elevator that would permit access to all three levels of Ellis Hall. In addition to expanding one of the upstairs classrooms, an outdoor patio will be created between the Boden-Merritt Library and Tallman Gymnatorium.
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My life as an office clerk brought me in touch with hundreds of beautiful young people. The staff members were always very kind and considerate. A price cannot be put on the value of Christian education.
– Alvin Cramp, Bookkeeper 1976-1992
After a farming accident in 1969 left Alvin confined to a wheelchair, he went back to school and completed a bookkeeping course at Georgian College. In January 1976, Alvin came to work in the business office of Great Lakes Christian College, where he would serve for sixteen years. Marie, his wife, was dormitory custodian for three years. Their three children, Kevin, Shawn, and Heather all attended GLCHS. Sadly, Marie passed away in December 2018 and less than two weeks later, on January 01, 2019, Alvin followed her. We are grateful to have known and been blessed by these beautiful servants and we are dedicating the elevator project of Vision 2020 to their memory.
Accessibility - All are welcome!
While Great Lakes Christian High School is fundamentally a warm and welcoming environment, our facilities don’t always give that impression. If you are elderly, the parents of young children, or a person with a disability, you will be challenged to enter through our front doors, and you may not be able to go upstairs to the administration offices and classrooms or walk downstairs to the Tallman Gymnatorium. Accessibility benefits so many more than our students and staff; it affords easy access for scores of people who visit our school annually for plays, banquets, youth rally, ceremonies, fundraising events, local community events and so much more. We want our campus to reflect physically what we believe philosophically: you are welcome here.
Safety - You are safe here
The safety of the students entrusted to our care, and any person who steps onto our campus is a paramount concern. Part of creating a safe environment is ensuring that if a fire ever started it will be detected early and people will have sufficient warning to get out of harm’s way. In connection with accessibility, upgrades will enable us to open up our school, literally. If you walk into Ellis Hall today, all the doors exiting the foyer are closed and, by fire regulation, must remain closed at all times. An upgrade that either includes magnetic release doors or includes a sprinkler system will open all these doorways, improve safety and make these spaces more functional, accessible, and aesthetically pleasing. We want every person who enters our school to feel that this is a safe place.
Space - Study, collaborate, and chill
For the last five years our average enrolment has been one hundred thirty students, praise God! Even more exciting is that indicators point toward the stability of that number for the next few years. With elevated enrolment, space is something coveted. Although this proposed plan expands a classroom, the real value added is space for study and collaboration (a much more significant component of today’s curriculum). When gathering, studying, or collaborating outside the classroom, the library and cafeteria have been the only options for students. In 2018, we added small, interim spaces outside the guidance office and gym that have been received well and put into constant use. This project will expand those spaces and add an outdoor patio between the gym and the library, a space long viewed as unsightly and wasted.
Upgrade - Fresh, modern, and connected
There is just no way around the fact that Ellis Hall is an aging facility. It has served well for fifty-five years, but the time to brighten, update, and open up these spaces and bring them into the twenty-first century is overdo. If a facility looks tired and worn, it is difficult not to be impacted psychologically by it. Moreover, tying Ellis Hall stylistically and architecturally to our residences gives a sense of wholeness and belonging. Beginning with the façade and entry, we want to carry these concepts all the way through to the gym and cafeteria, the most travelled corridor of our school. Welcoming, modern, open, safe, and functional spaces are what we hope to achieve
with Vision 2020.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
– Colossians 3:16-17