Rockford school celebrates the final piece of a major expansion project

Education Matters

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford Christian Schools announced major expansion plans in 2017, and Wednesday a dedication ceremony marked the final phase of the project.

For the last two decades Rockford Christian Schools have been building it’s international program.

The dedication of the Puri Residence Hall opens new opportunities to students from around the nation and the world.

Educators believe integrating students is best done through extracurricular activities, and making those accessible.

“Having students on campus where they can easily get to activities,” said Rockford Christian Schools Principal, Drew Popejoy. “We knew that that would be a real benefit for the student population.”

Six Chinese students currently live on campus.

25 others live with local host families and have the option to move into the residence hall.

“To have a community within a dorm really similar to any residence hall at any university. There’s a lot of memories that are made there. There’s a lot of community bonding time and activities,” said Popejoy. “I think those things get addressed by living in a community together.”

The residence hall can house up to 200 students.

School leaders hope to eventually have students from several countries attending Rockford Christian.

“I have a huge opportunity to take what we’re doing here at Rockford Christian,” said Director Rockford Christian School International, Sarah Cernohous. “Take it out to the world and talk about what the students are achieving while they’re living right here on campus.”

Administrators say offering on-campus housing for students adds to Rockford Christian’s mission.

“Whether it’s fine arts, academics, athletics, the spiritual life of the students, the community life of the students. And so this is just one cog in that wheel,” said Popejoy.

A new indoor fitness and recreation facility and a center for the arts were completed last year.

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