Athletes and actors at Denton Calvary Academy now have a place all their own.
The private Christian school, located at 1910 E. University Drive, celebrated its new Arts and Athletic Recreation Complex during a Denton Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday. Denton Calvary purchased the building from Denton Bible Church in May and spent $500,000 renovating the space.
"Our goal here is to educate the heart, soul and mind," Denton Calvary Principal Stacey Baxter said. "This building is a gift from God. He answered our prayers."
The 34,000-square-foot building houses a gymnasium, stage, cafeteria, locker rooms, a weight room and nine classrooms. Students have been using the building since school started in August and say it's a much-needed addition.
"It's been pretty exciting to see the transformation," senior Blake Mikeal said. "It got annoying to have to drive everywhere."
Before the recreation complex was up and running, the school would rent out facilities at the First Baptist Church of Denton to practice and play games in.
"It was tough because we would get out of school and sprint to the buses," said senior Jessica Brown, who plays volleyball for the school. "We wouldn't have a lot of time to change and we would come into practice rushed. Now we get to walk two minutes to the gym and have some time to unwind before practice starts."
Denton Calvary opened in 1999 with 97 students in the first through 10th grades. Now, the school educates more than 300 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Baxter said the school's enrollment has increased by 20 percent to 25 percent each year over the past seven years.
The recreation complex is the school's first addition to its campus, which also houses two buildings that Calvary still leases from Denton Bible Church. Board members say their goal is to raise $5 million in the next five years to purchase their buildings from Denton Bible and potentially expand the campus to Mingo Road.
CAITLYN JONES can be reached at 940-566-6862.