SLA buildings need new windows

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Windows are symbolic of showing a clearer picture, of allowing light to shine in illuminating all, of providing a view to the greater world. Education is meant to broaden students’ view beyond themselves.

When you look through the windows of SLA you see full classrooms with teachers leading students in learning activities. As in any school, students stare out of windows daydreaming. Teachers look out windows to check the weather for recess. Studies show that students have higher test scores when they are in rooms with natural light. We even use windows on our computers. Windows are an integral part of our world.

Come closer, you’ll also notice the cold air emitting from the cracks. Our windows are in dire need of replacement.

Why we need new windows

All the windows in both the elementary and secondary buildings are original. They were installed when the buildings were built in 1965 and 1967, at a time when energy standards were nonexistent. We have three main issues with our windows:

Poor insulation

The windows are single-pane and not designed to withstand the New England climate. “Our buildings are unnecessarily cold,” states Jeffrey Lambert, principal. “We meet the minimums for what the building heat should be, but we lose it as quickly as we put it in.”

Ineffective locking mechanisms

The locking mechanisms for the windows are so old that they don’t hold properly anymore. A strong gust of wind can loosen the latch so that air is coming in, or even worse, blow the window open.

Eroded caulking

The caulking around the outer edges of the windows has eroded to the point that cold air can enter around the frame.

What it will cost

Our building committee has gathered quotes to replace the windows in both buildings. They are looking at double-pane, energy-efficient, commercial grade windows that meet code. The design of both buildings feature large windows that creates a wall of light, but their custom size increases the cost. Due to the age of the buildings, there is likely to be asbestos that needs to be abated as well.

It will cost an estimated $285,000 to replace the windows in the secondary building, and an estimated $185,000 to replace the windows in the elementary building. That comes to a total combined cost of $470,000.

What about our Building for Eternity campaign?

Our Building for Eternity campaign came about because we knew there were many building repair needs beyond our annual operating expenses. Thus far, the campaign has addressed updating the essential issues--removing the outdated underground oil tanks, installing a new heating system, and re-roofing the elementary building. The oil tanks needed to be done for safety and code reasons. As for the roof, students sat in classrooms next to buckets collecting drips when it rained. We are happy to report that both of those issues have been completed. We are in the process of improving our traffic flow, parking lot and athletic field. The funds raised thus far have been able to be used to address these essential operational and safety issues.

We also knew that the windows needed to be replaced, the bathrooms updated, and buildings updated to become handicapped accessible and increase student safety by uniting both buildings. We still needs fund to accomplish these goals.

As we near the end of the three-year Building for Eternity campaign, we are extremely thankful for those who gave so generously and sacrificially so we could meet these needs. Now we are entering into a new phase of Building for Eternity, turning our focus to fundraising for specific projects we need to address, beginning with the windows.

We saw an $8,000 annual savings in heating costs after replacing the elementary roof. We are looking forward to seeing even more savings now that the academy building has a new roof. We can only speculate how much more savings we can realize once we replace the windows.

How we plan to raise the needed funds

We are approaching all our constituents--alumni, current families, church members--to help us support Adventist education at SLA.

We are excited to announce that all money raised at our upcoming auction, “Windows to the World,” on April 22 will go toward replacing our windows. The auction will feature a creative art project from each grade from PreK to 8, multiple gift certificates and admissions to popular local attractions and businesses, household items, adventure excursions and more.

This year, you will also have the opportunity to purchase windows for our school. Each window will also have a plaque affixed to the window with the sponsor’s name. A family, a class, or a business can sponsor the windows.

  • $600 to sponsor a window pane.

  • $3,000 to sponsor a window.

  • $15,000 to sponsor a classroom of windows.

Of course, we will only be able to replace the windows when we have enough funds to do an entire building. Replacing the windows one at a time or one classroom at a time will increase the cost significantly. So if you sponsor a window pane, whole window or enough windows for an entire classroom, we will keep the money safe and designated for that purchase until we have all funds to replace the windows in the building.

We have 1,114 email subscribers to Fiat Lux. If each person reading this email donated $421.90, we would be able to replace the windows in both buildings. We know that not everyone is able to give that much, and some are able to give much more. Please prayerfully consider what you are able to contribute. You may make a donation at www.mysla.org.

Additionally, please plan to attend our “Windows to the World” gala and auction, Sunday, April 22 from 5-8 p.m. It promises to be a fun evening for all. You may purchase tickets at www.mysla.org.