After months of praying, searching, and negotiating, Akili Christian High School now has a building of its own, with plans to start classes there this upcoming July.
The new space is in Franklin University’s Phillips Hall downtown. Akili Principal Ari Adkins says the location is ideal for many reasons, and the building itself is already equipped for classes--desks, chairs, and IT equipment--since it used to serve as Metro High School’s space.
Akili has been holding classes in Harambee Christian School’s building. Ari says having its own space allows Akili to grow and establish an identity for its students. “I think Phillips Hall will help both new and returning Akili students feel like ‘This is OUR school, and we all play a part in building our new community in this building.’”
Akili’s staff searched for months for a suitable location. Ari says they toured many buildings but all of them needed major renovations, were too far away, or were too expensive. “No building matched everything we needed, and it felt like looking for a needle in a haystack in a bigger haystack.”
Ari says she and a few others committed to praying that Akili would find a building before January 1st of this year and “we toured Phillips Hall on December 31st. God really stretched our faith again!”
But she says God came through completely. “Our dream location was a building that had been used for a high school before, is close to Harambee and our students' homes, and didn't require a lot of significant renovations. God answered all of those prayers for us!”
Ari says rent is affordable and Franklin University is supportive. “Franklin’s staff is excited about our school's mission and was willing to work with us on rent and classroom space. It’s a huge answered prayer to have that support.”
Franklin’s downtown location is ideal for a number of reasons. It’s a short drive from Harambee for parents with kids in both schools. It’s in walking distance to Columbus State Community College, where some students will pursue college credit. It’s close to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where Akili plans to establish internships. And Ari says being on Franklin’s campus, it helps prepare Akili students who plan on attending college after high school.
The location also is close to Dwell ministry houses, making it easy for college volunteers to serve at the school, but also close for Akili students to easily hang out with their home group leaders at ministry houses.
In the bigger picture, Ari says securing this facility frees them up to focus on their mission. “We don't have to spend as much time figuring out our transportation for our students doing internships or college classes, doing major renovations, or other everyday issues. Instead we can focus on our students. It meets a lot of our practical needs that are a priority for us.”
Ari says Akili’s staff is very thankful for the many people who have prayed for this over the last year--she says God heard your prayers and answered! Please continue to pray for the Ohio Department of Education touring and approving the school, as well as a smooth transition for parents and students this summer. You can sign up for the Akili prayer newsletter by sending an email to Ari at firstname.lastname@example.org.