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Longview Christian School raising funds to repair building

By Meredith Shamburger
Dec. 4, 2017 at 11:49 p.m.

Comedian Michael Jr. is coming to Longview, and it's all part of a Longview Christian School campaign to raise money for about $30,000 in needed repairs at the old Forest Park Middle School building.

Longview Christian School bought the former Forest Park Middle School building in 2012, after Longview ISD built its new Forest Park campus on Eastman Road.

And while the school has seen growth in the number of volunteers and students since the purchase, LCS Director of Development Douglas Case says they've realized the building needs some TLC.

"Even though we bought it for a great deal, it needed a lot of work," Case said. "It has some rusty metal, it needs roof repairs and some other stuff, some updates. What we want to do is we didn't want to just have more empty buildings in the community here in Longview. We wanted to buy it, renovate it and be able to provide a great, great Christian school for the kids and the students."

The school has kicked off a $30,000 capital campaign called "Invest in the Next Generation." So far about $24,000 has been raised, and Case says the Michael Jr. benefit is intended to help push them through those last few thousand dollars.

The renovations the school is looking at include dealing with lots of rusted trim on the building's exterior, cracking in the building's foundation, peeling paint, broken windows, cracked sidewalks and more.

"We've renovated a lot of the interior classrooms," Case said. "We still have some more classrooms we need to renovate, but our goal this campaign is at least to get a lot of that rust removed, get the school painted, get it where it looks presentable, get some permanent signage in the front and back. It's just trying to give the students a campus that they're proud of and that they can call home."

Michael Jr. has performed on "Oprah," "The Tonight Show" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," in addition to starring in the movie "War Room."

Longview Christian School decided to feature him as its signature gala act because the whole family can come, Case said.

"What I love about him is that not only is he a clean comedian, but his humor's for any age," Case said. "That's what we loved about him and why we wanted him."

In addition to the show, there's also going to be a silent auction and red carpet area.

VIP ticket holders can take part in a preshow question-and-answer session with Michael Jr.

"One of the fun things that he does is like ... you can ask him any question that you want, but it has to start with 'Would you prefer ...?' or 'Would you rather ...?'" Case said. "So you have to start your question with that."

Case said the school hopes its renovations will impact both the students and the community.

That's why the capital campaign is called "Invest In The Next Generation."

"It is an investment; parents are choosing to pay for their students to go there," Case said. "Plus we want to invest in the kids so they become community leaders and that they're able to serve, and that they know that they're challenged and that they're empowered by God in what their called to do, and that they're able to change a community, a city, where ever they live ... and make an impact."



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