A Rockford area school district's new building will teach beyond what they'd just learn in a classroom.
The new 25,000 square foot addition to the Rockford Christian High School campus, will not only offer high schoolers a college style learning experience when it comes to labs and facilities, but will give them a jump start, for future careers.
"Well we believe we're to be stewards of what we've been given," says Randy Taylor, Rockford Christian High School Superintendent. "So to do that, we have to teach our young people to take care of the environment, to understand how it can continue to benefit us as long as we're good stewards."
The Diane Bertrand Science Technology and Humanities Center is complete and ready for students. Bertrand taught at Rockford Christian for nearly three decades. She died last year. Her family, in return, wanted to honor her through the school Bertrand loved. After hundreds of donations, and $4 million later, the building is open. The Bertrands were the main donors.
"As a family, we're overwhelmed and we're humbled by what's happened," says Gary Bertrand. "And by the challenge, where so many people stepped up and contributed sacrificially to make this venture go forward."
The new science center has college- size laboratories, providing students with tools to learn about recycling, diesel engine analysis, and even wind turbines. The building even has its own turbines on the roof.
"They're understanding and grasping what a difference the use of leading technology makes in an energy conservative world," says Taylor.
Rockford Christian parent, Jen Ritchie is thrilled that her daughter gets to learn in the facility.
"We are just extremely blessed and very thankful that this building and all the donors came together and put it all together and got it going, so not only my daughter but other students are able to experience everything that Rockford Christian has to offer."
There are also additional art classrooms, a 171-seat auditorium, and several other computer labs equipped with the latest smart board systems.
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