Story and photos by JESSICA BARNETT
Shalom Christian Academy & Day Care will hold an open house at noon Saturday, July 31.
The new building, located at 312 Ridgeway Ave., will be the fifth location of the school and day care.
The building contains six classrooms, which will serve students in grades K-12. The school is designed to hold 50 children, but currently about 35 children are enrolled.
The facility is open from 6 a.m. to midnight during the week and as-needed care on weekends.
Elaine Fonville, who owns the center with her husband, John, has been striving to get the school ready since the move at the beginning of July. She said that sometimes she is working 12 hour days and usually works Saturdays, too.
Fonville said she realizes that she will not get everything unpacked and set up though before the open house but is relieved to be in the new facility. “Parents were really anxious for the new building to open,” she said.
Before now, the child care programs were run out of rented houses. Now the center has a permanent facility with plenty of room for the children, made possible by a $100,000 grant from the city of Columbia.
The original Shalom Christian Academy was opened in June 2003 by John Fonville’s sister, Luticha Griffin, but she died just a few weeks later. Fonville and his wife then took over and opened the day care the next month. The two have been running it ever since. The Fonvilles’ niece and their daughter, Alicia, also work at the center, in the infant and toddler room.