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The Journal Gazette

  • Concordia Lutheran High School's aging building on St. Joe River Drive is nearing its capacity, and school leaders are considering relocation. (Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette)

Thursday, February 08, 2018 1:00 am

Concordia mulls move to north side

New site could replace aging school

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Since moving to its existing site in the 1960s, Concordia Lutheran High School has endured expansions and renovations, and now leaders are considering another facility option as they plan for the future – relocation.

Mychal Thom, head of school, on Wednesday stressed Concordia is “tremendously early” in the process.

“We're committed to going through the process and not committing to a decision,” he said.

Although a news release about the potential move was issued Wednesday, those connected to Concordia were likely not surprised. Leaders have been discussing the private school's future in recent years. The aging facility's needs, 21st century education and building capacity have been considered.

Concordia, which has about 750 students this year, has capacity for 825 students. Its target enrollment in the next 10 to 15 years is 1,050 students.

Last fall, the school board accepted a recommendation to pursue the relocation option, which Thom said school leaders know the least about. A committee was established to address the topic, which includes developing a feasible fundraising model.

“It is a process, and we want to make sure we're doing the process as thoroughly as we possibly can,” said Greg Rehberg, alumnus and school board secretary.

Unlike Northwest Allen County Schools, which is seeking land for a potential new elementary school, Concordia has specified the site it's considering – near Parkview Regional Medical Center at Diebold and Union Chapel roads. That's several miles north of its current address, 1601 St. Joe River Drive, and would require building a school.

A land gift is “on the table,” school board President Mark Webb said in the news release. The school would not have to change its name or mission if it accepts, he said.

Thom said it is premature to know what would happen to the existing school if Concordia relocates.

Webb noted that the school's delegates – a governing body with representation from 17 member churches – will ultimately decide Concordia's direction.

“Only the delegates can make such a decision,” he said in the release, “and we are not yet at the point where we have enough information to present this as an option to the delegates.”

The Concordia community wants the best for the school, Rehberg said.

“There are a number of people who care passionately about Concordia high school.”

asloboda@jg.net