Minnetonka Christian Academy has operated on its Minnetonka Campus since 1969, but since 2014 has based its main school operations out of the smaller remodeled “bus barn” building on campus. During this time, MCA’s stakeholders diligently worked to pay off the building loan on the smaller building, while renting out the original school building to other schools and sports organizations. Still, the balance on the loan persisted.
Long-time supporters of MCA desired to see its operations return to the original building, but for several years were not sure of the path forward to make that a reality. During that time, the “little school” building served its purpose beautifully, and was well-loved by the families, staff and students who attended there. However, over the last eight years, the school once again grew, and in 2019, the 5-9th grade students were moved from the little building into two upstairs classrooms in the original building to accommodate for the increased enrollment.
While MCA was grateful to be able to use a portion of the original building for its school operations, it was recognized by many people that splitting staff and student body across two buildings wasn’t an ideal long-term solution. At the same time, the pandemic hit, and along with the rest of the world, the MCA community faced the challenge of responding to the difficult conditions while continuing to offer a safe and high-quality learning environment for its students.
Despite these challenges, during the school years impacted directly by the Covid pandemic, MCA’s enrollment grew from approximately 45 students in 2019 to just over 60 students at the end of the 2020-2021 school year. This was a huge blessing to the school, but further highlighted the need for a larger and more cohesive space in which to continue growing.
In the spring of 2021, several things happened at once. First, the renter of the original school building announced they would be closing out their contract on the MCA campus in June 2022 and moving to their own recently purchased campus. Then, a donor announced a large “starter” donation and challenged the MCA School Operating Committee and the Minnetonka Adventist Church to pay off the $500,000 building loan in ONE year. Then in August 2021, MCA’s enrollment grew to 70 students. More blessings–and further space challenges—as two classrooms were completely full and had to begin waiting lists.
Finally, in late fall 2021, a second donor challenged the MCA community to a matching campaign on the building loan. At the same time, the MCA SOC began serious lease negotiations with a potential renter for the “little school” and voted to make every effort to relocate MCA to the original school building for the start of the 2022-2023 school year as classrooms were near capacity!
As the 2021-2022 school year drew to a close, it seemed as though God opened the storehouse of His blessings and poured them out. Just past the one year mark since the challenge was made, the entire building loan was paid off! Then, through the tireless efforts of the leasing committee under the direction of David Land, a lease was signed for the “little school” with Rayito de Sol, a Spanish immersion daycare.
MCA has returned to its original building and was fortunate to open the 2022-2023 school year with 85 students. The miracles of the last year have served to strengthen the MCA staff and community’s faith in God’s plan and continued provision for our school. He is true to His Word and constantly demonstrates how He can do “abundantly more than we ever ask or hope” (Eph. 3:19, NLT). We can’t wait to see how God continues to lead MCA!
Vanessa Pujic is the principal of Minnetonka Christian Academy.