By Thomas Keever, Executive Director

The movie Field of Dreams’ most memorable line, “If you build it, they will come,” has turned into a reality for Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA), home of the Raptors. Our community school is now in its eighth year, educating students from kindergarten through high school graduation.

For those of you who have observed LLCA’s progress throughout the years, the growth and positive changes are stunning. Today, the Gymnatorium has a completed roof and the walls are up. Before too long, the only work left will be fleshing out the interior. In addition to our Gymnatorium, we have developed our multipurpose ballfields. We are very excited about the prospect of hosting true “home” games on our home fields. Over the years, our student athletes have traveled thousands of miles to practice and play. Dedication and grit define the perpetually positive spirit of our athletes, coaches and families. The excitement is palpable among our student body.

But let’s not forget the performing arts! Our annual Coffee House for 2019, showcasing our elementary school singers’ talent, will be one of the first events in the new Gymnatorium, with the date to be announced. We are very optimistic the “Lake Lure Classical Theater,” will also perform our annual play on the Gymnatorium stage. In past years, we have rented the Isothermal Community College Foundation for the Coffee Houses, and the Mills Spring Agriculture Center for the theater productions.

One date set for certain is the graduation of the Class of 2019, on June 9th at 2 pm in the Gymnatorium. Everyone is greatly anticipating this milestone and celebration.

As with any building project, there are many items that will be needed to make the Gymnatorium a facility that serves not just our student body, but the entire Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge community. Look for opportunities in the near future for our wonderful community to make an investment, not just in the education of our children, but to invest in a better quality of life for our community. The 18,086-square-foot steel structure will feature a high school-sized wood-floored gym area with folding bleachers on two sides, home team boys and girls locker rooms, visiting team boys and girls locker rooms, a concession area, three coaches offices, a weight room, and men’s and women’s public restrooms. The Grand Opening is on schedule for March 2019. When driving onto the LLCA campus, you’ll not only see the Gymnatorium rising up behind our main entrance, but you’ll also notice our new solar panel, which will be used as a teaching station and be a great resource for our students. As an added bonus, the panel will generate a small offset on our monthly electric bill. North Carolina Green Power, private donations from the State Employees’ Credit Union, along with a Facebook Grant, financed this project. The panel was installed by Sugar Hollow Solar.

I also want to share the news that Elementary Art Teacher Mrs. Allyse Searcy, our 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year, has advanced to the regional level of the State Teacher of the Year competition. This is an impressive accomplishment, and we are all are truly proud of Mrs. Searcy!

It has been a wonderful beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year, and this spring will bring even more good fortune. With a record number of students enrolled, a new Gymnatorium on the horizon, new on-campus soccer fields for home matches, and a new a baseball/softball field with dugouts for home games, Lake Lure Classical Academy’s future looks brilliant!