New Spaces Open Up Opportunities at Unity Christian High School
This article was written by Sarah Weber for the Vibrant Orange City Magazine from Pluim Publishing.
Unity Christian High School’s mission is to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and to provide Biblically-based education to guide and equip young people to serve God and their neighbor in all aspects of life. The Name “Unity” was chosen to represent the cooperation of Christian educators and other Christians throughout the Siouxland area in their move to extend the opportunity of Christian education to more and more people. The site of the land on the west edge of Orange City was ideal for its accessibility to students and its potential for expansion. Ten acres of land donated initially by Mrs. Dora Smits in 1963 cemented the future of Unity Christian.
Over the years, the building as seen changes. In August, an $8-million building project was completed, adding much-needed space to the growing school. The project broke ground on Sept 2, 2021, in an effort named “21 Campaign, which became a celebration of community and partnership of the rich history of Unity and the bright future God has in store,” said Wayne Dykstra, head of school.
The new gym is staying full, doubling the court space to meet the growing demands of athletic programs and making the facilities more accessible and family-friendly.
A bus barn is another addition and houses all school transportation vehicles. A new music room created space for further growth in the arts, along with five classrooms that expand the Science and Agriculture departments at Unity, adding space for earth science, advanced chemistry, and applied biology and new course offerings.
A state-of-the-art weight room with a large window view overlooking the athletic field is now a centerpiece of the school. “We are excited to bring this to the school’s ground floor, allowing for access to all students.” Modern locker rooms and shower facilities are also a part of this update.
Unity will welcome 327 students for the 2023/24 school year, an increase of 26 new students.
At Unity, “I think there is a faith and academic merger that takes place in all our programs where we are taught to think and act and connect the Lord into everything we do. We are intentional about that,” Dykstra said. “In a world where whatever you want to be is up to you, we approach it with a biblical standpoint unashamedly; we are here to live into God’s story.”
The new space is already actively enjoyed by all students. Dykstra adds, “our new addition has been a wonderful enhancement for our staff and students. The additional classrooms and second gym give us much-needed additional space to meet our growing enrollment needs. Our entire school has a fresh new feel! We thank God for those blessings.”