Trinity Academy, the nondenominational Christian high school near K-96 and 21st Street East, has come a long way since classes were taught in a rented church nearly 20 years ago.
The Class 4A high school is now home to about 320 students. They are about to get some company.
The school announced this week that it plans to add a school for kindergarten through eighth grade to its nearly 80-acre campus by the fall of 2017.
“We were looking back on the last 20 years and the future – where we need to be going in the next 20,” said Matt Brewer, Trinity Academy’s headmaster. “We see the opportunity to add to our campus and have a K-8, now, a K-12 campus.”
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In recent years, Trinity Academy has expanded its campus, most notably constructing a stadium for football, soccer and track east of the high school. The elementary school will be constructed south of the high school, Brewer said.
Officials are still working with architects to design the building, so Brewer did not have a cost estimate Friday on the new building. However, he said the school operates on a “no debt policy.” Construction will not begin until the building has been completely funded, Brewer said.
“We’re looking at curriculum, being as innovative as we can be in construction,” he said. “There’s a lot of intentionality going into the planning part of it, and what we want the school to look like.
“One of the things we’ve always been committed to is excellence. One of the things we want to make sure is that we’re doing this with excellence.”
Brewer said he anticipates construction will be funded almost entirely by private donors. The school, he said, does not spend tuition money on constructing buildings.
“We’re trying to keep the cost of tuition reasonable so it’s not going to debt service,” he said. “It’s going to students, not to buildings.”
Trinity Academy currently charges about $10,000 per year for high school tuition. Tuition for the K-8 school has yet to be determined, Brewer said.
For its first year, the K-8 school will field just one section of 16 students per grade level, Brewer said. As the school grows, more sections will be added to each grade, Brewer said.
“We are working with architects and looking at how that building is going to grow as we add sections,” he said. “We want to build it in a way to accommodate growth.”
He said once the plans come to fruition, Trinity Academy, as a K-12 institution, could have 600 students.
The middle school grades will have standard athletics as well, Brewer said.
“That would feed into the high school program as well,” he said.
Students enrolling at Trinity Academy typically come from 15 to 18 different feeder schools, Brewer said. Building its own feeder school will provide an opportunity for Trinity to have “more influence on that whole scope and sequence of the K-12 curriculum,” he said.
The school is the largest independent Christian high school in Kansas, according to its website. It emphasizes spiritual life as well as academics.
Parents interested in more information about the K-8 school may call Trinity Academy at 316-634-0909.