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Bible Center School expansion complete

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Bible Center School has completed a $2.35 million, 16,000-square-foot "Recreation and Ministry Center."

Bible Center Church began building the center behind Bible Center School, 1111 Oakhurst Drive, at the beginning of the year. The structure is now complete with bleachers to be installed in the gym this week, said Executive Pastor Lee Walker.

The new center includes a gymnasium, four 120-square-foot classrooms, kitchen, office area, exercise room and restrooms.  

The church and the school will use the new building.

"It's neat to have a chance to spread our ministry in the community," said Senior Pastor Eric Mounts. "It is a comfortable space where all will feel welcome. It's a welcome additional asset we have not had. This building will be a hub bringing people together in a joyful setting that will bring us together in our mission. Our mission is to produce maturing followers of Jesus Christ."

A gym has been needed for many years and the school continues to grow, Walker said.

When the first addition at Oakhurst was built in 1983, a half gym was included but it has proved to be inadequate. Years of planning and praying went into the latest building project, he said.

The new gym will be used daily by Bible Center School, where enrollment has increased by 45 percent since middle school was added in 2010, he said.

Enrollment now includes 400 students in preschool through eighth grade.

The church will use the new gymnasium for recreation ministries for children, youth and adults, Walker said. The space will also be used for the regular Wednesday night middle school ministry called Element that includes music, games and Biblically based lessons. The school will use the gym for physical education and sports activities.

Middle school sports for boys and girls now include basketball, soccer, track and golf.

In March 2008, Bible Center Church moved from Oakhurst Drive into a new worship facility off Corridor G. Situated on 96 acres, the church has 66,500 square feet of space on three levels.

The Oakhurst Drive location with 50,000 square feet of space was maintained for offices, teen center and Bible Center School. The new addition means the school now has 66,000 square feet of space. School principal is Garland Elmore, and preschool director is Vicki Hess.

"With the new building we are able to provide a better space for students," Elmore said. "It is larger and cleaner with technology,"

Middle school classrooms were in a modular until students moved into the new facility on Sept. 24.

Elmore said his son, Garland II, is an eighth-grader at Bible Center and was so excited he could hardly sleep the night before the move into the new classrooms.

"God has been good to bless us to have this new facility," the principal said.

He added no money was borrowed to build it with costs covered by contributions and donations.

Greg Moore, physical education teacher and athletic director, is grateful for the spacious gym with storage for sports equipment and an on-site location for practice and games.

Two eighth-graders said the new building makes everything more efficient

Kendyl Bostic, 13, has attended Bible Center School since preschool.

"It's great," she said of the new addition. "The classrooms are a lot bigger, and I like having the lockers in the hallway."

A full-size gym will make physical education classes fun and on-site basketball games possible, she said.

Josh Greear, 13, who has attended Bible Center School since first grade, said, "To see it grow and develop is really something special."

Having a space to practice and play home games is a boost to morale, he said.     

Bible Center Church has had just four senior pastors in 68 years. Mounts stepped into that role in March of 2011.

"It's a thrill during my tenure to develop and open such a great asset," Mounts said of the new building project. "The RAM Center is going to mean a great deal to our church ministry. The school is only one facet of a larger whole. Both will benefit greatly from this new asset."

To celebrate the opening of the new Recreation and Ministry Center, three events have been scheduled inside the new building.

At 6 p.m. Oct. 14 will be a grand opening and open house with a service held in the gymnasium. Refreshments will be served.

At noon on Oct. 25 will be a business and professional luncheon with speaker Jayson Gee, former basketball coach at University of Charleston who is currently at Cleveland State. Tickets to the luncheon are $15.

 Gee will also speak 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at a school dedication event.

For more information go to, or call 304-346-0431.

Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at or 304-348-1246.



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