The church began a long-range planning process in 2001 to address the extreme space limitations in the school. When the school was built, average class sizes were much larger than the smaller classes and student-to-teacher ratios of today. At the same time, the owner of a duplex on the south side of the school offered to sell it to the church at a very affordable price. The congregation voted to purchase the duplex and plan for an addition for the school.
A Building Planning Committee consisting of Pastor Tom Eggebrecht and several church leaders enlisted the services of a church consultant to survey the congregation on the feasibility of conducting an internal building fund appeal. Following a positive outcome for the feasibility study, the congregation voted to conduct the appeal. The internal appeal concluded in June 2005 with approximately $500,000 in commitments over a three-year period, and the Mount Calvary Foundation committing another $150,000 to the project.
A grant from PAVE (Parents Advancing Values in Education) paid for the services of Zimmerman Design and The Bentley Company to assist with preplanning of the project and creating a rough design for the expansion. PAVE also helped with development of marketing materials.
Mount Calvary hired Terry Bolda as Director of Development & Marketing in August 2005 to direct an external fundraising campaign that includes appeals to former church members and friends; solicitation of individuals and churches, and grant requests to foundations.
With the help of a lead grant of $210,000 from the Siebert Lutheran Foundation and pledge commitments from parishoners, the congregation approved hiring a general contractor and financing for the addition in February 2007. A groundbreaking ceremony was held June 3, 2007 and construction began immediately.
External fundraising has brought in nearly $1 million via grants, matching funds and gifts from individuals. The external shell of the building was completed by Christmas 2007. Volunteers from the church are helping to finish rooms inside while plumbing and other mechanical work continues. The new addition will be ready for occupancy for the 2008 school year.
Mount Calvary began a challenge drive in December 2007 to raise $100,000 by June 2008 to decrease the amount of a long-term mortgage for the addition. It is estimated that this will save $6,000 in interest payments per year over the term of the mortgage.