Sunday, August 16, 2015

Top 20 Summer Campus Improvements @ Bethany Christian School

Hello BCS Family!

I wanted to offer a HUGE thank you to the selfless generosity of Bethany's Parent Teacher Fellowship. Your generosity has allowed us to make many significant improvements to the campus facilities, which I am confident will have a very positive and lasting impact upon our school. 

While Bethany has always had a beautiful campus, I am truly grateful for your generosity that has enabled us to make the following improvements at Bethany:

#1 - Newly Renovated Reception Area 
During the course of the summer, we renovated our administrative offices in order to offer a more professional and welcoming reception area. As you enter the doors located off of SE 8th Street, you will be greeted by smiling faces behind a counter top.

#2 - Resurfaced Gym Floor 
After more than a decade, Bethany has resurfaced our gym floor. The new gym floor was installed by the same company that installed the flooring at the American Airlines Arena for the Miami Heat. This flooring couples the appearance of a professional hardwood floor with the safety of a padded laminate flooring. In addition, the new stripes have been painted in accordance with regulation standards.

#3 - Air Conditioning in Hallways
We have installed air conditioning ducts in the Elementary and Middle School hallways. Prior to this summer, all air conditioning on the south side of the campus was sourced into the classrooms only, which prevented the necessary circulation to keep the hallways both cool and fresh.

#4 - New Ceiling Tiles
In our talk with designers, they told us that the 2x2 ceiling tiles are much warmer and more attractive than the 2x4 ceiling tiles used previously. All common hallways now feature 2x2 tiles.

#5 - New Glass Doors for 9th Street Entrance
During the summer, we replaced the shoe-print stained wooden doors at the 9th Street entrance with impact-resistant glass doors. These doors are not only safer, but they allow plenty of light to pour into the hallways -- making the elementary hallway far more open and welcoming for our students.

#6 - Newly Designed Exterior Landscaping  
The landscaping surrounding the main campus was entirely redesigned. This three-tiered landscaping makes the campus look absolutely beautiful and welcoming to students, parents, and visitors.

#7 - New Lighting and Covers for Stairwells
For decades, the stairs ascending to the Middle School and upper Elementary classrooms were merely painted concrete. In an effort to make the stairwells both warmer and safer, we have installed rubber coverings over the stairs (for better traction and softer corners). We've also improved the lighting.

#8 - New Sign on the Western Wall
During the opening weeks of school, we are planning to install a back-lit sign on the western, second floor exterior of the school that will help to identify the school. Currently, the only significant sign for northbound traffic on Federal Highway is the marquee. This new sign will increase visibility for our guests and prospective families.

#9 - Improved 8th Street Curb Appeal
We have launched an effort to enhance our curb appeal for the 8th Street entrance. This entrance into the administrative offices often presents prospective families with their first impression of Bethany. In addition to redesigning all of the landscaping, we have installed new signs and a new awning. We have resurfaced the parking lot. Goodbye pot holes! We have re-striped the parking spaces, and we are planning to install new brick pavers in place of the existing sidewalk.

#10 - Re-Coating the Parking Lots and Pick-Up Lanes
As you will notice, the pick-up lanes and the teacher parking lot have been resurfaced and re-striped to present a fresh and professional appearance to families.

#11 - Plaster Coating Over the Cinder Block Walls
All of the upstairs classrooms have received a bit of a makeover. The cinder block walls, which were present in all of the upstairs classrooms, have received a smooth plaster coating. This smooth coating goes a long way to make the classrooms far more welcoming and warm for our students. We will certainly not miss the institutional look of block walls.

#12 - Expansion of Middle School Mathematics Classroom
We have added several hundred square feet to our Middle School Mathematics classroom. In addition, we have added sound-proofing between the Elementary and Middle School classrooms.

#13 - Privacy Fence for Eastern Walkway
We have installed a fence and all new landscaping on the eastern side of the school. This has provided privacy, additional security, and a more beautiful view to our east-facing classrooms.

#14 - Added Security Cameras
During this summer, we have installed several new cameras to help ensure the safety and security of our students. Two of these new cameras will monitor events in the gymnasium and the lunchroom.

#15 - Replaced Breaker Boxes to Accommodate Growth
In an effort to ensure safety and efficiency, we have replaced two electrical panels on campus. As our school grows, our infrastructural needs grow as well. These new panels should accommodate our needs for a long time to come.

#16 - Additional Motion Lights
In order to improve safety conditions for evening events, we have installed motion lights around the campus. This will ensure that no one is forced to walk through dark passageways to reach their cars.

#17 - New Doorknobs with Interior Locking
Prior to this year, most of our classroom doors were fitted with knobs that were locked by exterior-facing keyholes. To improve response-time in the event of an emergency "lock down," all of our classrooms now feature high-security doorknobs with interior, push-button locking mechanisms.

#18 - Exterior Facelift 
The exterior of the campus has been painted; the bricks have been pressure washed; and the existing awnings on SE 9th Street have been professionally cleaned.

#19 - Carpet Cleaning
For the second consecutive year, ServiceMaster by Robinson has completely donated their services to clean our carpets and to wax our floors. They are a HUGE blessing to our ministry.

#20 - New Flatscreen Display Monitors
We have installed three new flatscreen TV display monitors in our hallways to add a touch of life to the campus and to provide important announcements about upcoming events to our families.

This is merely a sampling of the work that has been done this summer to enhance our school's facilities. It does not include the redesigning of storage facilities, the addition of a classroom, the purchase of additional technological resources, or new elements to our classroom curricula.

All of these improvements were made possible by the generosity of those who have chosen to invest in the mission and future of Bethany Christian School.

The Front Office reception area was renovated to offer a more welcoming presentation for BCS families and visitors.

We resurfaced the gym floor to improve the appearance and to bring it up to regulatory standards.  

We have installed motion lights around our campus to ensure safety for our guests during evening events.   

We have installed a privacy fence and added landscaping to enhance the aesthetics for our east walkway. 

We re-coated our 8th and 9th Street parking lots to make the exterior of the school look much sharper and cleaner. 

We installed additional lighting and covers to the stairwells to enhance both safety and appearance.  

We have installed three flat screen display monitors around campus to announce upcoming events.  

We resurfaced the 8th Street parking lot to eliminate dangerous and unsightly potholes. 

We added all new landscaping around the campus to provide a beautiful tiered effect. Special thanks to Kara Sher. 

We have installed additional cameras on campus to enhance security eliminate blind spots. 

Why Well-Maintained Facilities Matter to You 

Experience and common sense dictate that poorly maintained facilities can lead a person to feel that an environment is unsafe or oppressive. Our souls naturally long to be surrounded by beauty and order. Being a statistics nerd, I was curious if there were any scientific studies pointing to the measurable benefits associated with making campus upgrades. Indeed, recent studies have shown that the condition of campus aesthetics actually has a dramatic role upon student performance, their levels of happiness, and the frequency of behavioral issues.

One scientific study found that something as simple as exposure to sunlight inside the walls of a building actually increases students' academic performance by 19%. Exposure to attractive landscaping also yields a myriad of positive benefits. Another study found that the cleanliness and beauty of a campus has a direct correlation to student creativity and work ethic. It also serves to increase teacher morale and retention rates. Another major study found that the condition of a school's facilities has a direct influence on student motivation, confidence levels, graduation rates, and their overall sense of security. Orderly and beautiful campuses also see fewer behavioral issues like truancy, suspensions, and incidents of student bullying.

We want to shine brightly in every conceivable category, and we are confident that these improvements will enhance your child's experience at Bethany Christian School!

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