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HOLLSOPPLE — It’s been five years in the making and finally, the new addition at the Johnstown Christian School are one step closer to being complete.

“It’s been a lot of hard work,” said Dr. Kathy Keafer, Johnstown Christian School Administrator. “We have a great staff, community, students and support system that has been helping us along the way.”

The school applied for a grant through the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies in 2014. It was the first time they’ve applied through the Foundation.

“We were recommended to go through the Foundation from a Pittsburgh organization,” said Keafer. “It’s been a blessing to work with them.”

The school was built in 1944 in Hollsopple, Somerset County. Several years ago, Keafer said she noticed some of the classrooms, especially in the science and the art departments were in rather poor shape.

“I knew we needed to do something, we needed to upgrade to have better technology for our students if we want them to succeed,” said Keafer.  “We have a great teachers and kids but we needed an upgrade to keep on the same level of playing fields when it comes to technology and efficiency.”

The school received over $800,000 in donations from the community, the new construction and renovation cost total is about $1.2 million dollars. Keafer applied for a grant from the Community Initiative Program through the Foundation to help cover cost in its math, science and media lab. The school received $50,000.

“This grant has helped us in so many ways,” said Keafer. “This is going to help keep our students update to date with the latest technology.”

Phase one of the construction is nearly completed, students are expected to move into the new building in December. Phase two, the renovation portion of the current building will begin once the move takes place.

“We are very grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait for the project to be completed,” said Keafer.

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