Veritas School is not ready to begin construction on the planned multi-use building that will serve as the centerpiece of its planned campus at the corner of Highway 219 and Bell Road, but figured it was time to move to a place it can truly call home anyway.
Last month, Veritas moved its modular buildings from its longtime home at First Presbyterian Church about a mile down the road and is preparing the five-acre site so that it can begin operating at its permanent location this fall.
"I think it was really just a matter of coming to the realization that we wanted to get on to our land and then be able to build from there," headmaster Brian Lynch said.
In the meantime, Corvallis-based general contractor Clair Company is connecting utilities to the modular classrooms and offices and will install access ramps and do preliminary landscaping work in the coming weeks so that classrooms and offices can be set up beginning in mid-August.
"It's on track and on schedule," Lynch said.
He added that the school's board of directors made the decision to move prior to the upcoming 2017-2018 school year in April 2016, instead of waiting until completion of the multi-use building, which will include a gymnasium, library and cafeteria, as was originally envisioned.
To make the move possible, Veritas also assembled a new, larger modular structure and positioned it in the middle of what folks are referring to as the "academic village." It will be used mostly as an assembly area, replacing First Presbyterian's Fellowship Hall, but also includes some office spaces and a break room/kitchen.
"It gives us everything we need and more than we had before, but gets us on our property," Lynch said. "It allows us to have all of our assemblies, school meetings with parents, plus some extra spaces, so it gives us more flexibility than we had before."
Lynch said fundraising efforts for the permanent structure, which has been designed in a way that it can be expanded in the future to include more classroom spaces, are ongoing, but for now, the focus is on getting prepared to begin the school year at their new home.
"This is going to take all hands on deck, finishing this," Lynch said. "The board is going to be taking the lead on the next steps."
Lynch said the timing of the move will also allow the school to celebrate its 20th anniversary, fittingly, on its permanent campus. A celebration, which will be open to the community, is being planned for September, but details have not been finalized.
For now, there is a lot of positive energy and anticipation brewing around the possibilities that lay ahead because of the move, both for the coming school year and in terms of the school's long-term vision for the property, which includes 11 additional adjoining acres for athletic fields.
"Every day I'm out there on the campus, somebody is looking around, so I think there is a very high level of excitement to be in our own space," Lynch said. "And it's a beautiful space on top of that. It's a gorgeous area. There is a lot of excitement about making this move."