Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rainbow Community School announces future campus expansion

Rainbow Community School is under contract to purchase the West Asheville Church of God at 60 W. State Street. The addition of The Church of God property, which is adjacent to Rainbow’s current campus, will more than double the size of Rainbow’s campus, adding an athletic field, a performance hall, and much needed classroom space. 

West Asheville Church of God is experiencing a growth in their congregation, and has plans to move to a new, larger location. The opportunity to purchase the church is exciting for both the school and for West Asheville.

A Community Vision over the last two years, Rainbow has expanded their vision in order to become a community school. In fact, they changed their name to include the word “community” in it. They are an urban school, and feel called to connect strongly with their West Asheville neighborhood in a variety of ways. One of the ways they have practiced that is by adopting Children’s First/Community in Schools. This purchase will vastly expand the school's community services and outreach.

Impacts to the West Asheville Neighborhood Community
With Rainbow Community School’s purchase of The West Asheville Church of God property, Rainbow will be able to offer so much more to our West Asheville Community. With a five acre campus in the heart of West Asheville, there will be significant positive impacts for the neighborhood:


Rainbow is developing a site plan to reduce the heat gain and water run-off to the French Broad River from the current Church of God Parking lot. The asphalt area will be greatly reduced in size, and buffered with permeable run-off controls. Scientific permaculture gardens will be installed. All of the current campus’ old growth trees will be preserved.
Haywood Road Corridor Improvement Almost half of the Haywood Road frontage owned by Rainbow will be converted from a parking lot to a much needed green “park” for West Asheville residents and visitors. Plans include a tail-gate market-like structure where students can utilize Haywood Road to try out socially beneficially entrepreneurial plans, which is part of the 6th grade curriculum at Rainbow.

Enhancing the Arts  

The property includes a beautiful 300-seat performance hall. The performance venue will be available to community groups and artists needing a functional, beautiful, and affordable location for events. Rainbow looks forward to enhancing its already vibrant arts programming further supporting local artists.


Rainbow was honored with the Griffin Award in 1986 for preserving the Historic Orr House, and they intend to preserve the main church building as well – a structure that would probably be at risk for destruction in favor of new development if the school were not purchasing the property.

Community Enrichment 

As an urban school, Rainbow believes that its facility should be a neighborhood resource. For years, Rainbow has dreamed of being able to offer classes and events to a diverse audience and ages, but lacked the facility space to offer a wide menu. Currently, Meditation Classes, a mother-daughter group, and parenting classes have, or will be, offered to the community. The Church of the Garden meets on Sundays at 11am at Rainbow. 

The new facility will dramatically expand what will be available. For more information contact Executive Director, Renee Owen. 828-258-9264 Ext 111. Renee.owen@rainbowlearning.org.

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