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Construction to expand Faith Fellowship School in Watertown nearly complete

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WATERTOWN — Construction of a 1,220-square-foot addition to Faith Fellowship Christian School is nearing completion.

The two-story addition to the former John C. Thompson School on Moore Avenue will be the new home of the school’s largest classroom, an upgraded school office and a more secure main entrance.

“We’re in desperate need for more space. We’re running out of room,” Vice Principal Mary E. Rowley said. “It’s a happy problem to have.”

Mrs. Rowley said the addition will help accommodate the growing student population. At the outset of the school year, the school’s 178 students marked its highest enrollment in 27 years of operation.

The $170,000 construction project will add two new offices and two classrooms, free up three existing rooms and improve security. Construction began over the summer, Mrs. Rowley said. The offices should be completed within the next month and the classroom space by August, before the new school year.

The addition also will include a more secure entryway for visitors.

“Everyone in the education world is beefing up security,” Mrs. Rowley said.

Visitors to the school now must ring a doorbell and a school secretary must go to the door to let them in. With the new entryway, guests will enter through two doors into a vestibule where there will be a window for the secretary to talk to visitors before allowing them through a second set of doors.

“The idea is to make changes to be a more safe environment for our children,” Mrs. Rowley said.

She said the district paid for the construction with donations from community members, fundraisers, money saved over the past three years and a small loan.

“Adding these new classrooms will allow the school to accommodate more students and offer more options in their education,” Principal Theodore F. Curinga II said in a news release. “We’re excited and will continue to look at opportunities to improve or even expand opportunities as this trend continues.”

Faith Fellowship Christian School is a nondenominational school with a diverse religious makeup, Mrs. Rowley said. About 28 religious denominations are represented within the student population and staff. Students attend chapel once a week, and participate in Bible class daily.

Mrs. Rowley said the school has experienced, state-certified faculty, and offers a Regents diploma without the constraints of Common Core standards and standardized tests.

Last year, the school had to stop accepting new applicants as it reached its cap of 16 students per classroom, she said.

“From prekindergarten to grade six, there is one classroom for one grade,” Mrs. Rowley said. “We limit our classes at lower grades to ensure all the students get the most out of their classroom time.”

She said in grades seven through 12, five classrooms are in rotation.

Class size can be as high as 18 students.

About half of the students come from military families, and the other half come from the community, Mrs. Rowley said.

The private school has opened enrollment for the 2014-15 school year for prekindergarten to 12th grade. Interested families can find more information on the school’s website at www.school.ffwatertown.com, or call for a tour at 782-9342.

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