After prayer and welcoming remarks, Head of School Eric Munn told the families of Unity Christian School that the school was completely debt-free.

The announcement came Friday night during the school’s orientation and convocation, which will be followed by the first day of school on Monday.

The building on New Calhoun Highway, which has housed the large bulk of Unity students since 2004, had been paid off after a donation in June.

“For many, many years we have had to raise half a million dollars to balance the budget, which has become more difficult over the years,” Munn said.

Before the gift, Munn said he checked the school’s annual budget and saw it would be in the hole $6,000. Now, Unity families can come together in September to burn the deed to the building and celebrate the school’s financial freedom, Munn said. Moving forward, the school’s fundraising will go directly towards school programs and improving school facilities he added.

The private school has occupied the former Battey Machinery building since 2004, and at the time only went up to the eighth grade. First grade and lower grades were kept at the school’s first building on Burton Road.

The school saw its first graduate in 2007 and its first graduating class in 2008 which consisted of four students. Since then, the school has graduated 11 classes and around 215 students, Spiritual Life Director Rob Davis said. The school has since combined all grades under one roof.

Munn said this year, the school has seen a 5% enrollment boost for the 2019-2020 school year as 82 new students prepare to start classes come Monday.

Other projects the school has completed include roof repair, new intercom system, a renovated library and a bus route to the Polk County area. The school will be finishing up a parking lot project and adding awnings to the elementary school car line and to the mobile learning trailers.

The school will expand its science, technology, engineering and math program into high school this year, Munn said, as well as put iPads into the hands of every middle and high school student via a new technology initiative.

During orientation and convocation Friday night, the school had inflatables, Fuddruckers and sweetFrog for their new and returning students. Students met their teachers, received their class schedules and their locker assignments during orientation.