The Christian school broadens its $3.6 million capital campaign to build its own campus

While certainly determined to build a campus of its own, Veritas School isn’t in a hurry either.

After all, the private school that follows the classical Christian model first decided to pursue building a new home in 2003.

So when inclement weather last year and scheduling difficulties this year delayed the installation of sewer and water service to their site by nearly a year, school officials took it in stride. Photo Credit: SUBMITTED - A future home - An artist rendering shows the eventual shape of Veritas' new campus near the intersection of North College Street and Bell Road.

After completing that project last month, Veritas is now turning its focus back to its “A Time to Build” capital campaign, which to this point had been limited to the school’s own contingency fund.

With $1.25 million already invested in the project, including $285,000 for the sewer and water project, and $653,000 more raised, Veritas will look to the broader community to raise the final $3 million it needs to build and move into its new home adjacent to North Valley Friends Church at the junction of North College Street and Bell Road.

“It’s not a 100-yard dash, it’s a marathon,” director of development Mike Stice said. “We have to take whatever length of time is necessary to raise the money because we’re going to do it debt free.”

The bulk of the cost will go to constructing a 20,000-square-foot multi-use building featuring a gymnasium, library, cafeteria, kitchen and offices. The school’s current modular buildings would be moved to the site to host classes and be laid out so the multi-use building would be the focal point of the campus and the modules would form a courtyard.

A future campaign will be held to construct classrooms that connect to the multi-use building.

Veritas is negotiating with the Chehalem Park and Recreation District to build two athletic fields — one for soccer and lacrosse and another for baseball and softball — in exchange for access to them for many years.

Veritas officials said they strongly believe having a permanent home of their own will help them better accomplish their mission to cultivate wisdom, virtue and godliness, but also expand its reach and secure its long-term future. That includes the potential to expand the athletic program, which currently offers just boys and girls volleyball.

“Permanence to us means owning our own land, owning our own buildings and having our fields,” Stice said. “We have none of those things right now. So it would solidify the permanency for us to complete and continue our mission so that our children’s children would be able to attend Veritas.”

The sewer and water project was originally slated for completion last fall, but wet conditions through the winter continued to push the date back. By the time they were suitable, the excavator on the project was no longer available and didn’t return until this summer.

The original goal of “A Time to Build,” which is the second phase of the project after acquiring the land, in 2012 was $2 million, which would be in addition to the just under $600,000 it had already raised.

Under that plan, the multi-purpose building would have been constructed, but the gym would be left unfinished. While waiting for the sewer and water project to complete, it was decided that including a finished gym in the current phase made more sense, adding $1 million to the cost.

All the various factors have led Veritas to push back its completion goal from fall 2015 to fall 2017.

The school also plans to mow the fields on the property and stake out the dimensions of the multi-use building to give both constituents and potential donors an on-site vision of the future.

Having raised nearly $2 million in-house, Stice said he is eager to engage the broader community, from local business to national foundations, in the next round of fundraising.

Stice knows $3 million is a large figure, but is confident in the merits of the project and, as previously shown, patient. “The reason we feel we are doing this the correct way is that we are absolutely 100 percent debt free and that’s the way we’re going to stay,” he said.

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