At some time or another, most of us have probably visited a large mall or other multi-building complex and found ourselves standing in front of a kiosk looking at a red “X” and the words, “You are here.” We stare at the map and endeavor to orient ourselves and to determine how to get from where we are to where we want to be. Some have suggested the need for such a kiosk for visitors wanting to tour all of Bob Jones Academy. BJA is unique among Christian schools in that its students are the primary occupants or frequent users of 13 buildings spread out over a one square mile area. Adding to visitors’ confusion is the habit of longtime BJA personnel of referring to these various buildings simply by names or worse—letter abbreviations. Consequently, for those unfamiliar with BJA, locating the Hutto, Brown, PC, MC, or ASB can prove a daunting task. In fact, folks in the middle school often joke that one of its greatest school safety features is that no one can find it.
However, one of the standards that the accreditation team reviews concerns BJA’s facilities. They inspect and examine documents that provide required information pertaining to eleven of the buildings that BJA occupies and utilizes. (The Davis Field House and Pennington Child Development Center are excluded.) They consider such matters as routine maintenance, custodial work, fire and health inspections, proper space requirements, proper and adequate lighting, hallway space, heating and air conditioning, classroom furnishings, storage spaces, and numerous other details. For the building that houses the Academy’s youngest students (the Primary Center), the team also looks at compliance with all DSS regulations. It takes considerable time just to perform simple walk-through inspections of the Primary Center, Elementary Main Building, Early Learning Center, Applied Studies Building, the Academy Gym and all the buildings that are part of what is affectionately known as “The Quadrangle.” Add to that the time needed to review all the required documentation for these various buildings, and it’s quickly apparent that the team members have their work cut out for them to inspect BJA’s facilities.
The team members also quickly learn that if they plan to walk from building to building, they need adequate time and comfortable shoes. Because of the number of buildings and the distance between them, the accreditation group typically take a “divide and conquer” approach. Some team members focus on the buildings used by Grades 6 through 12, and the other members concentrate on K3 through Grade 5. Such an approach proves beneficial for all parties involved.
Bob Jones Academy exists to assist like-minded Christian parents in challenging students to love Jesus Christ, to embrace God’s truth, to exercise integrity, to pursue excellence, and to serve others.