Pressing Toward The Goal - Capital Campaign
We are thrilled to announce that First Baptist Academy has launched its Pressing Toward The Goal Capital Campaign to build our new campus at our Saints Athletic Complex. The school will move to the new facilities beginning in August of 2017. Check this page for updates as plans are shared and construction begins.
You can invest in the future of FBA by clicking here!
This is the mission of First Baptist Academy. This mission is what guides our vision for the school. Our vision is for FBA to be the best college preparatory school in Dallas that is developing the next generation of Christian servant leaders. That is why the Academy was established over 40 years ago as a ministry of First Baptist Church, and it is why we exist today. Our commitment is to keep this mission at the forefront of everything we do. In order to fulfill our mission, we need to be touching more students, more families, more lives. We are excited to share with you our vision for that growth on the slides below.
The FBA Facilities Committee was organized in January 2015. The committee was led by Board Member Ty Sawyer, an FBA alum, who has seen the growth and development of the school over many years. After forming the facilities committee, we engaged a third party to help us with the feasibility study. The committee engaged a company called BrainSpaces and we began the feasibility study in January 2015.
BrainSpaces is an expert in the field of facilities planning for schools. Here are just a few examples of schools that BrainSpaces has worked on. Over the course of 4 months, the facilities committee worked with BrainSpaces to develop growth and financial models for the school. Once we developed these models, we considered the various facility options- the current downtown campus, the Saints Athletic Complex, and other locations that were available for purchase- to determine the best option for the school that allows us to grow and fulfill our mission of developing Christian servant leaders.
In addition to the various models and considering the demographic information, we conducted focus groups with our administration and families in April 2015. We had great participation and a very candid discussion with the families about how they currently viewed FBA and where they see FBA in the future. After those focus groups, there were some common themes that emerged: -You want a school where there is a sense of community and there is a sense of camaraderie among the students, - You want a school that provides academic alignment between the lower school, the middle school, and the upper school, - You want a school that offers a high-level of programming and academic opportunities that prepares your student for college, - You want a school where character development is integrated into all aspects of the school and equips Christian servant leaders, - You want improved facilities that allows for experiential play and learning and provides a campus environment.
We conducted detailed evaluation and analysis, and more importantly, we prayed about our next steps. Based on the research by the facilities committee regarding the growth strategy of the school, the demographic studies regarding our current families and potential new families, and the feedback from our current families, the facilities committee recommended to the Board that we develop a master plan for facilities improvement. The Board came to the unanimous decision that the very best place for the future of First Baptist Academy is on the campus at the Saints Athletic Complex.
This plan will embody the core characteristics of First Baptist Academy, build upon our strong legacy, and create a dynamic future for our students, teachers, families, and the community. Our objective with this project will be to create a thriving learning community that advances the mission of FBA--developing Christian servant leaders. This new campus that supports fulfilling the school's mission will recognize 4 key attributes of our school: FBA as a Christian School, FBA as a school focused on relationships, FBA as a 21st Century school, and FBA as a college prep school. The slide above shows our current campus that includes our gym, our stadium, baseball field, softball field, concession stands, and athletic team locker rooms. We will be in the Downtown facilities for the 2016-17 school year.
We plan to have the first phase of the new campus completed by Summer of 2017 so that we can start the 2017-18 school year at the new campus! When we move, we intend to offer a transportation service that will allow families to drop-off and pick-up their students before and after school in Downtown. We will still be the only private school that allows you to drop your student off and pick your student up in Downtown Dallas. This project will be in several phases and the first phase will include space for over 300 students and will accommodate PK-12th grade. We're excited to be able to offer a true campus environment that promotes the interaction between the lower school, the middle school, and the upper school. Here are just a few of the many benefits that we'll be able to offer by being in a campus environment. For the lower school, now we’ll have the ability to expand our classroom sizes and increase outdoor education, which will enhance our already strong curriculum. For the middle and upper school, we will now have the athletic facilities in the same location as our academics, which will minimize scheduling challenges. We will also have the opportunity to enhance technology in the classroom at this new facility.
This is our vision for the master plan. The leadership of First Baptist Academy firmly believes that God is with us on this project. We have seen God at work in so many ways along the way and in the history of our school. We feel that this is the time to take this bold step, and He has given us this vision for the school. The facilities committee is currently meeting to develop more detailed plans for the new campus, for Phase I and the master plan.
Our capital campaign officially began on January 14, 2016. Our goal for Phase I of this project is to raise $3.5 Million. This past Fall, we began meeting with donors to kick off our campaign. Our first donor meeting was with Orville Rogers who has been a consistent supporter of First Baptist Academy and First Baptist Church. During our meeting, Orville told us that he first had to pray about his contribution. When a man of God like Orville Rogers commits to pray about something, we knew that whatever he came back with would be God’s will. Mr. Rogers came back and committed to a challenge pledge that is the largest gift in the history of FBA. When Mr. Rogers came with that challenge gift, it was clear that it was from the hand of God and that we were moving in His direction. Another lead donor is a First Baptist Church couple, Jim and Geneva Donald, who are passionate about FBA and its mission even though they didn't have a child or grandchild attend FBA. They also committed to pray about their gift. After praying about it, they came back and pledged an amount that is one of the largest gifts in our school’s history. We are honoring the Donald's at the Rogers Dinner this year on April 20, 2017. Andy Horner is another lead donor who has done so much for First Baptist Academy. He has prayed for our school and supported our school throughout its 45 year history. Mr. Horner was honored at our 2016 Rogers Dinner! Even though we were already confident that God was leading us in this direction, having people like the Donald’s, Andy Horner, and Orville Rogers committing to pray, and then coming back with these kinds of gifts, was just even further confirmation to us that God is in this. And a reminder that our God is greater, and our God is stronger, and our God is higher than anything else, and that He deserves all glory and honor.
We are happy to announce that as of April 18, 2016, we have received commitments and gifts which together total $2,872,771.32. Here is our preliminary vision for that first phase of the project where we will create a secure campus and new facilities to accommodate over 300 students in PK-12th.
The theme of our Capital Campaign is 'Pressing Toward The Goal', which comes directly from Paul's words to the church at Philippi in Philippians 3:14. This verse is already a visible reminder to all of us, as it graces the entrance to our property which will soon be our new campus home. We are, and will continue to be, daily reminded that the Christian life takes effort and perseverance, but the believer attains a prize of great eternal value. Likewise, the goal of our beloved FBA takes pressing work and resolve, but our valuable reward - our prize - is represented through the very lives of our students, as they develop and grow into committed and capable Christian leaders, serving in their world as ambassadors for Christ for a lifetime.