CHICAGO (CBS) — It is back to school season for many in the area.
Students are stuffing pens, pencils and books into their backpacks.
But for those who attend Illiana Christian High School, they also need to bring their GPS. That’s because the school moved across state lines from its old location in Lansing, Illinois to a brand new building in Dyer, Indiana, some 10 miles away.
CBS 2 was there for the first day.
History teacher Darren Deboer gets to know his class. Surrounded by boxes that still need to be unpacked, Deboer talked about the bittersweet move to the new location.
“It was a building that my parents went to school. It was a building my grandparents went to school,” said Deboer.
And he played a key role at the new location, one of a handful of teachers licensed to teach in Indiana. The school needs at least one.
“I’m pretty important,” laughed Deboer.
Day one of a new school adds a new layer of discovery, as students try to find their lockers, classrooms and everything else.
Surrounded by farmland, the road to the new Illiana didn’t happen overnight. It took lots of fundraising. 28 million dollars for a school with an enrollment of 470.
First came the 3D renderings, then the construction and now one of the leaders of the project finally got to see the fruits of his labor.
“It’s exciting to see years and years of planning, raising money and just dreaming become a reality and actually see kids in this space,” said Illiana Christian High School Vision Director Lance Davids.
The school moved from a 70-year-old antiquated building on eight acres to a 21st century new building on five times as much land.
“It was the right spot at the right time to pick up and move,” said Davids.
Deboer is also the school’s athletic director. One of the hardest parts of the move: switching to a new sports association in another state.
It look lots of phone calls and emails for him to replace 80 percent of games with new rivals in Indiana.