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School searching for new home

Chris Puglia
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Aug 21/02) - Only two weeks remain until the beginning of the new school year and Koinonia Christian School is still trying to secure a home.

As of last Tuesday the school's board did not know where its students will be heading at the end of August.

"We have a few things in progress but we don't have one (a building) at this time," said Rob McIntosh, Koinonia board member and facilities manager.

McIntosh, is, however, remaining optimistic. "We do believe something will arise."

The building issue has been an ongoing challenge for the school which has struggled to find a permanent home for the past six years.

Last year the school was renting a room in the Mildred Hall school, but that arrangement was only good for one year, and McIntosh says he doesn't know if that will be an option again this year.

Since the school's inception six years ago it has moved locations approximately four times.

The school does own its own portables, and have for a year, but has been unable to find land for the two structures.

"Land is very limited in town where we can locate and where we want to locate," said McIntosh.

The board is working on a contingency plan to accommodate its students come August if a facility has not been secured.

On the bright side

Although finding a facility has been an ongoing struggle, the Koinonia school is making strides in terms of finances and enrolment.

This year 15 students are enroled in elementary and on-line high school courses, that is up four from last year and up seven from 2000.

The limited enrolment causes a financial stress for the school.

"We're fundraising for our operating budget. Our budget does not get met by enrolment," said McIntosh.

In the past that fact left the school burdened with a $19,000 deficit.

But McIntosh was pleased to announce in the last year they have been able to reduce that deficit to $3,000.

"The community is amazingly supportive," said McIntosh, adding that much of the school's budget is based on private donations.