On its sprawling 68-acre campus, Mount Paran Christian School (MPCS) revealed the latest addition to its holistic education approach. The Murray Innovation Center (MIC) perfectly showcases the school’s core learning values – Learning-Focused, Christ-Centered, Community Oriented and Pursuers of Excellence. The unveiling of the Murray Innovation Center (MIC), a 23,000 square foot expansion, is a physical manifestation of those core values.
Offering a radical space to test, adapt, grow, learn and collaborate, the MIC allows Mount Paran students to think outside the box. Since its official opening in January 2022, the MIC has nurtured collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication to launch students successfully into the growing STEAM-related industries.
The increased MPCS admission and shifting curriculum demanded a state-of-the-art addition to continue to meet the needs of the school’s committed, bright and God-honoring students.
MPCS empowers students to take the lead in the design process for the new center to ensure the new space would meet the needs of future learners and keep the four core values in mind.
Beautiful vistas of nearby Lake McDonald and Kennesaw Mountain provide a stunning backdrop and capture the beauty of God’s creation. Outdoor classrooms along the lake’s waterfront and quiet nooks facilitate discipleship, reflection and prayer.
The new center caters to all disciplines with dedicated spaces such as the robotics field for the two-time, State-championship-winning Eagle robotics team. Other spots include new science labs, a maker space, a fabrication lab, additional classrooms and a digital lab. Teachers can also utilize collaborative spaces and an additional collegiate-style, technology-rich classroom.
The Roost Coffee Co. now has a permanent home in the MIC, courtesy of the Graham Family Foundation! Operated solely by the high school entrepreneurship class, The Roost is open daily and provides students a hands-on opportunity to learn about product development, inventory, e-commerce, vendor relationships, sales and customer service experience.
Mobile furniture, modern meeting spaces and informal areas that support organic connections are just a few elements of the new commons and quad. The new center’s meeting spaces support the school’s various clubs, programs and overall sense of community.
Pursuers of Excellence
The center’s final design is a culmination of answered prayers, unique creativity and collective ideas birthed from visionary thought.
Head of Upper School Tawanna Rusk shares, “This new learning center and collaborative space affords our students the opportunity to discover new passions, solve problems for our community, and impact the world as Christian leaders. The abundance of blessings that will flow from this space is limitless, as is our children’s potential.”
Through the Murray Innovation Center, students and families can continue to explore and create meaningful learning experiences to support the school’s four core values while defining what true academic excellence embodies in the future. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit www.MtParanSchool.com/Experience.
About the Spaces within the Murray Innovation Center
The Graham Commons is a community setting for students to connect and take advantage of the multi-use space for meetings, events and classes. Natural light and gorgeous views of Lake McDonald create a serene atmosphere and outdoor/indoor café seating in The Roost provides social and study opportunities for students as they gather throughout the day.
In partnership with the alumni-owned Apotheos Roastery in Kennesaw, The Roost Coffee Co. and attached course resulted from a student fireside “dreaming” session during the building and planning phase of the new center. In the fall of 2019, students drafted a business plan, borrowed funds from the high school administration and launched the coffee shop. The student-led venture led to the creation of a refined course programming in business management, marketing, personal finance and entrepreneurship.
The outdoor quad brings attention to God’s creation and the school’s picturesque campus in and outside of the building. A built-in hardscape amphitheater offers an additional classroom and event space for the MPCS family with convenient proximity to the Graham Commons, the Roost and Dozier Hall.
Through collaborative instruction and innovative ideas, the digital lab inspires students in the fabrication lab and maker space. Modern features include dual monitor design stations for computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM) design work for computer science, business and engineering courses.
The maker space is a STEAM classroom for tinkering and exploring the mechanics of ideas generated in the digital lab. The equipment allows for low dust prototyping with electronics/soldering workstations, 3D printers, a laser cutter/engraver and a desktop computer numerical control (CNC) milling machine, in addition to the dedicated area for the Eagle Robotics field.
The fabrication lab showcases the materials and equipment required to build a final product, such as a CNC router for computer-controlled wood cutting and carving as well as an array of additional power tools for manufacturing work in plastic, metal, wood and foam with a dedicated dust collector.
The MIC features brand-new science labs that boast a lab prep room for safe and necessary storage for glassware, chemicals and lab materials. Other additional features include fume hoods for the safe ventilation of chemicals, flexible furniture for easy classroom transitions and blackout shades for optic experiments using lenses, mirrors, spectra and lasers.
The T.E.A.L. classroom (Technology Enhanced Active Learning), modeled in the collegiate style, features five A/V screens and collaborative group tables/seating. Additional new classroom spaces accommodate any discipline with flexible seating and arrangement.
To learn more about the brand-new Murray Innovation Center or additional information about enrollment, school facilities and more, visit www.MtParanSchool.com.