By Amanda Boston

Since Grace Christian School opened its doors in 1974, it has sustained a solid reputation for academic excellence. Its rigorous curriculum is taught from a biblical worldview while in a structured but caring environment. In addition to preparing its students scholastically, the school has an intentional focus on character development with emphasis on moral living, patriotism and civic duty.

The more than 40 years of educational success has multiplied its student population—causing the original school building to swell at its seams. In response to the growth, Grace Christian finalized plans for a two-year construction project to expand the high school campus. The new facility includes a high school building, which will house 12 classrooms, two auditoriums, administrative offices and a gymnasium. With a price tag of five million dollars, the school is actively campaigning for funds.

Administrator Barry McKeen of Grace Christian explained, “The facility will increase our student capacity and expand our ability to provide new programs in sports for students of all grades. By adding a second gymnasium, we will be able to engage the elementary students in exciting interscholastic leagues, provide a greater capacity for all of our sports teams, and be the new home of the Grace Christian School Patriots varsity sports.”

In honor of the school’s founder, Dr. Robert R. Gustafson, the new facility will bear his name. Gustafson, the beloved founder, administrator, pastor, and baseball coach passed away in January 2016. He was a visionary with a passion for Christian education. His legacy lives on through the Grace Christian School as it continues to provide students with a high-quality Christian education.

“Unfortunately, we had to turn away students last year,” said McKeen. “But with a new building, we will have the capacity for 400 more students.” To donate to the building fund, please contact the school at 689-8815. Donations are tax deductible.

Grace Christian School is located at 1425 N. Valrico Rd. in Valrico. Registration is open for the 2017-2018 school year. For further details, please visit

Previous articleFamily Promise Fundraiser Generates Homelessness Awareness
Next articleGrace Notes Electric Synergy
Amanda Boston
Amanda Boston is the Christian Voice Editor for the Osprey Observer. She is a graduate of Bible Training for Church Leaders (BTCL), who enjoys sharing how God is working in and through the community. Amanda resides in FishHawk with her husband and two children.