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Whitefish Christian Academy Deals With Growth, Plans For More

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WHITEFISH - Whitefish Christian Academy looks to add some temporary classrooms while they start to add grades nine through twelve.

At the same time, they're keeping an eye out for a new location to completely relocate.

This is a record year for Whitefish Christian Academy.

They're teaching 169 kids between preschool and the eighth grade. That's more than they've ever had, and next year they're getting 48 more.

To deal with the sudden growth, the school is asking for a special permit to build several modular, stand alone, classrooms in the back beside the playground.

"We don't really see any major obstacles at this point except that it's a considerable amount of money so we're going to make sure that we have the formal approval by the city," said Todd Kotila, the school's headmaster.

At the end of the day, the project could cost around $250,000 if the city gives the thumbs up next month. Kotila hopes to have the extra space ready for part of the next school year and pay for it with the new growth plus donations.

That's not all, though. For the fall of 2015, they're also adding a ninth grade. Each year after that they'll add another until they have a complete high school.

"We have to find a way to maximize the use of this property as we look for a campus to start our high school program," explained Kotila.

Kotila says they're doing what they have to to keep the old school going, but the goal is to find a new, bigger piece of land to build a school from scratch.

"It is a lot of work and you have to love your work," said Kotila.

If all goes as planned, today's seventh graders will be the Academy's first graduating class in its more than thirty years, the class of 2019.

"It's really exciting like just thinking that we'll be the first ones throughout the entire history of the school to actually graduate," said John Barton, a seventh grader who transferred to the Academy in the fourth grade from Dallas.

Kotila says they have to hire five people for next year, both teachers and administrators, to keep pace with the numbers.

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