UPDATE MAY 22, 2023: After almost 8 months Riverside Christian School has terminated the Purchase Agreement with the former Macy’s building. We began this process feeling the 100,000 Square Feet that sits on ~10 acres could be transformed to a school campus that could accommodate our growing school. We knew there would be challenges with this process, but were amazed to see God provide opportunities to continue down this path over this time. The biggest challenge we knew was going to be amending the original operating agreement that multiple tenants needed to approve as well. This became a tremendously challenging undertaking for many reasons, and ultimately we didn’t see a path forward for this space. The current owners of the Macy’s, local and regional businesses and the City of Grand Forks have been great to work with trying to make something work and we hope there can be another option to be considered for this space soon.
As it was becoming clear that the Macy’s space was not going to happen, donors reached out to indicate they would consider donating land on the south end of Grand Forks for a new build. We are excited to explore this option that God has provided through such generous donors. We will be hearing from our school families and expect to start to get details regarding things to consider for a project like this soon. In the short-term, we will continue to manage space as well as we can. We are getting information to add another portable classroom unit to house our middle school and will work to get that here this fall.
As we look back on the past 8 months, we are not discouraged at the outcome, but are thankful for how God led through the process and all the learning we had and also excited about the future. As one door may close, other ones will continue to open. We look forward to the next chapter of God’s story about Riverside Christian School.
UPDATE JAN. 5, 2023: On behalf of the RCS School Board, I want to welcome you back to school for 2023. We were hoping to announce that we had closed on the Macy’s space. Instead, we found we have a bit more red tape to unstick. The process has been delayed, causing us to sign a 60-day extension to the purchase agreement in order to mitigate changes that need to be made to the maintenance agreement between tenants. We have tentative approval at this point but having many parties involved means things don’t move quickly.
On another note, the results have returned from the completed feasibility study conducted this fall and they are favorable. Pace Fundraising, after doing many stakeholder interviews, concluded that the possibility of raising $10-$15 million dollars during a building capital campaign is promising. Please, continue to bring this endeavor before the Lord, praying for His will to be done.
UPDATE FEB. 9, 2023 (NoteHome):
The board wanted to send an update on the latest happenings at Riverside.
First of all, our potential purchase of the Macy’s property and desire to move the school into this space, went before the Grand Forks Planning & Zoning Commission on February 1st. This was the first reading and we were given preliminary approval. This rezoning request is necessary to permit a school as an “allowable use” on the property, which is currently zoned for shopping. We ask that you keep praying for God’s hand to be in the process as this is the first step in a series of four meetings to gain final approval.
Please be praying for the board along with our legal counsel and real estate agent as they work to guide us through the negotiation process with the current Macy’s owners, the mall management company, and the other store owners while we work to finalize the purchase of the property. We are so thankful for these two gentlemen and their expertise as they help us to seek God’s will for RCS and believe that He will only leave open the doors that we are to pass through.
I want to take this chance to thank Mrs. Waind for all of her years of service to the RCS family as a parent, teacher and principal. With that comes one more prayer request. Please join us in praying for whomever the Lord has chosen to fill that role as we finalize the job description and post the job opening. I am excited to see what the future holds for Riverside Christian School!
RCS School Board President
UPDATE March 31, 2023 (Spring Newsletter):
In an effort to keep our stakeholders updated on the building progress, we have been trying to share updates monthly with our school population. I’m sure some feel like it has been slow-going, but we still want to keep everyone updated as well as we can.
You may know we have been working through the process of purchasing the former Macy’s space. We knew this would be quite the process, given all the uniqueness associated with this building and its location. This month the Grand Forks City Council gave final approval of the space for educational use, contingent upon our ability to clear all the other hurdles. We have been dealing with the current mall owner and negotiating a number of things to protect Riverside from potential costs and risks associated with the mall and the other tenants. The mall owners, in kind, are protecting their ability to operate a functioning mall (their words, not mine). The remaining tenants will have challenges of their own for us to work out as well.
It might seem like this has taken longer than expected, but we knew to get this done correctly it would take time. We have been encouraged by the progress, even in the last couple weeks, but there are still things to get completed. We also know that we will need resolution soon to the potentiality of moving to this space. We have been pushing all the parties toward this end, knowing that if this space doesn’t come together that we will need to find another option.
We continue to covet your prayers for wisdom and discernment, along with prayers for God opening and closing doors as He directs the school. Ultimately, we look to God’s provision as we have for 40 years at Riverside. As Easter is not far away, we are grateful we can trust His provision not only for RCS but for ourselves. We rest in His completed work on the Cross.
RCS School Board Treasurer