At five years old, Grace Community School is outgrowing its nest.

At five years old, Grace Community School is outgrowing its nest.

The Christian faith-based chartered private school plans to leave its location at the Salvation Army Greenwood Conference Center at 340 Lake St. for more space at 715 W. William St.

Lifepoint Church, previously at that location with Toddler Inn Daycare Center, has moved to 7719 Graphics Way, Suite B in Lewis Center. Contingent upon a lease agreement between Grace and Lifepoint, Toddler Inn Daycare, which has an enrollment of about 70 children, will close this summer.

Grace, which plans to lease to buy from Lifepoint, will also sublease to Baracka Church, which will use the facilities primarily on Sunday morning and evening and sometimes Wednesday night.

The move will give Grace an opportunity to offer preschool next school year for 3- to 5-year-olds. The school currently offers kindergarten through seventh grade, and has an open enrollment admissions policy. School administrator Phil Mears said he's expecting at least 25 preschool students. Enrollment is at 75 now, and with preschool enrollment Mears predicts total enrollment could reach, 100 by next school year. Eventually, the school plans to add eighth grade classes.

"We need more facilities," Mears said, saying the school had been looking for a new location for a couple of years. Grace plans to move into the new facility the week of July 1. School starts Aug. 29 for first- through seventh-graders, Aug. 30 for kindergartners, and Sept. 6 for preschoolers.

The new location has 10,130 square feet and sits on about 4.53 acres, 2.53 acres of which are in Delaware Township. The lot features a sanctuary that can hold between 150 and 175 people, a commercial kitchen, eight classrooms and three office rooms.

"We wanted a place we could grow into," Mears said.

Classroom size at the new facility will be 50 percent larger on average. The building sits on two acres of land with two playgrounds.

Mears said he plans to add about 2,000 square feet onto the existing facility within five years. After five years, he would build a second facility on the 2.5 acres of township property adjacent to the existing building. The new facility would have room for a gymnasium and additional classrooms.

Grace currently employs six full-time and four part-time teachers. Mears said he plans to hire two full-time elementary teachers.

During the Delaware City Council meeting on May 23, vice mayor Windell Wheeler voted against approving a conditional use permit for Grace.

Windell told ThisWeek that he didn't get enough information about how the land that's still in the township would be used, since the city wouldn't have jurisdiction over it. "I just didn't feel like we had sufficient information on the use of it," he said.

During the meeting, Mears said he plans to renovate the township property, which has an old playground.

He said a long-term goal, if the city permits, is to annex the township property into the city.

He said the school does not plan to sell the township property.