Big boost: Elyria Christian moving forward with gym project

Chad Frey
Elyria students are celebrating a grant from Casey's that pushed the school efforts to renovate the gymnasium past it's fundraising goal.

ELYRIA — Elyria Christian School has been fund-raising for a project the past couple of years, seeking the means to update the school gymnasium. It's a big project for the school of just more than 170 students with a more than $70,000 price tag. 

"One of our concerns with our bleachers, with COVID and everything, was being able to space out and spread out. Our current situation was not allowing for that," said Tonya Robertson, Director of Development at Elyria Christian School. "That is for spectators and students, and when we have assemblies and things." 

This project will help Elyria Christian School by creating additional safer seating in their gymnasium. The project at Elyria Christian School involves tearing out the existing bleachers and installing new bleachers on both sides of the gym.

This week the school was able to get pushed over the top of their goal, thanks to a $30,000 grant

"We are now going to be able to do [the project] and get those installed in May," Robertson said. "We are very excited about that. ... This covers about half of what we were needing."

Elyria Christian School will replace the gymnasium bleachers this spring after a grant has pushed fundraising goals over the top.

The grant is called a Cash for Classrooms grant, a program that allows schools to apply for up to $50,000. 

“The past year has been unlike any other for schools, and our Cash for Classrooms grants will help schools through this difficult time as well as to improve the learning environment for the future. Casey’s is here for good and that means supporting students, teachers and families in our local communities,” said Katie Petru, Director of Community at Casey’s.

Robertson appled for the grant in December, learning of the successful application this month. The application included photos of the current gymnasium as well as info on the goal. 

"When we announced, [students] were all cheering," Robertson said. "This is something that has been a need for a while. I think they are looking forward to ... the way it is going to look and the functionality of it will allow us to host more events."

For more information on Casey’s Cash for Classrooms grant program, visit The 2022 grant program will open in the fall.