Unity Christian Academy hosts work day at future location

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Unity Christian Academy
UCA board member Sally Larsen (left) helps UCA student Amir Anthony with a wheelbarrow full of books during a work day on Saturday, October 30. (Photo: Landon Ford)
By Landon Ford

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (November 1, 2021) – The horizon of relocation drew a bit closer for Unity Christian Academy on Saturday as community members gathered to help do work at the future location of the school in South Holland.

Unity Christian Academy is preparing for the future relocation of the school’s growing body of students. The new school location will be at the Holy Ghost School located on 700 E. 170th Street in South Holland, where six-hour work sessions are occasionally being held to help prepare the space. Saturday’s session will be followed by another on November 13.

Unity Christian Academy
The former Holy Ghost School is soon to be the new home of Unity Christian Academy. (Photo: Landon Ford)
Unity Christian Academy
Volunteers gather for a group prayer during Saturday’s work day. (Photo: Landon Ford)

The school encouraged those who are affiliated with UCA to help do the work. These work sessions are held and led by UCA Staff and school board members, including Neil Okuley, Head of School, board members Sally and Dave Larsen, and board member and parent John Purnell.

UCA board member Dave Larsen places debris in a dumpster outside the new home of Unity Christian Academy. (Photo: Landon Ford)

Working for expansion

At 9 a.m. on Saturday, about twenty volunteers made up of board members, parents, and students showed up at the location and gathered at the front entrance for an info briefing and introductions on why they were involved. Though the construction and architecture will be mostly done by contractors, UCA and its volunteers were willing to do some of the work themselves. Their plan included tasks such as removing doors and frames, sorting metal furniture for scrapping, moving and breaking down wooden shelves, and many more.

Student volunteers help move a metal cabinet. (Photo: Landon Ford)

Explaining why she wanted to sacrifice her time on Saturday, board member Sally Larson said, “As a way to help us save money, and as good stewards of God’s money to keep the cost low as we can.”

Unity Christian Academy has been residing at Calvary Community Church in South Holland for nearly four years. The move to the nearby Holy Ghost property will allow the school much more space. Okuley said, “We want UCA to be a part of restoring communities.” Though UCA has been involved with the property for multiple years, a deal to purchase was only finalized in June.

A display of renderings served as a promise of what’s to come for the new space. (Photo: Landon Ford)

Excitement for the move

Amir Anthony and Riley August, a UCA junior and freshman shared their enthusiasm for the future school. They hope their next year at the new location will bring people from the community into the community of UCA and a relationship with God. Anthony wants a library to read books in, and August, while nervous about moving into a bigger school, hopes to connect with more people.

Though he isn’t going to be at the new location next year, Caleb Purnell, a senior, said he would recommend some of his past classmates to join UCA and its community, allowing it to be more accessible and to get people excited. “This new building will help them broaden their horizons,” he said, adding he hopes the new building will give more opportunities for clubs.

UCA board member and parent John Purnell said he is excited for the new move, and believes that the Lord took UCA on a path and opened doors for a new opportunity. “UCA is a part of my family and community. I’m here, my boys are here, and we are volunteering and pouring into UCA and its community,” he said. He’s hoping the new school’s doors will open in August of 2022.

Students, faculty, staff, and board members look forward to the day these halls will be rehabbed and ready to host students. (Photo: Landon Ford)

Saturday’s volunteers hope for a great change in UCA’s future and its surrounding community, and many of them will come back to help out on the next work day on November 13. Community members interested in being a part of the next work day can visit weareuca.org to learn more.

Unity Christian Academy is currently located at 16341 South Park Avenue, Building 2, in South Holland. The school is hoping to move next year to 700 East 170th Street in South Holland.

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