Faith Lutheran High School moving out of Crystal Lake at end of school year

Faith Lutheran High School is moving.

The private Lutheran school will move from its Crystal Lake location, 174 McHenry Ave., to 6506 National St. in Union, which houses the Evergreen Academy alternative school.

“This move will give Faith a new home from which to continue and grow its mission of providing high-quality Lutheran secondary education to students in McHenry County and the surrounding area,” the school’s board of directors said in a statement.

The McHenry Avenue campus is being marketed with an expected closing date after the completion of the current school year, according to the board.

“Everybody’s happy, and everyone’s excited about the new location,” said Faith’s office manager, Elizabeth Wood.

McHenry County Regional Superintendent of Schools Leslie Schermerhorn said Marengo-Union Elementary School District 165 owns the Union school building and rents it to the Evergreen Academy for “a very nominal fee.”

Schermerhorn said it’s a large building with two wings.

“There’s no reason that the two schools can’t coexist. It will be a savings to the taxpayers. It will also allow students of Faith Lutheran to continue their education, as the school was going to run out of funds and no longer exist,” she said.

Schermerhorn said the building will undergo “some modifications.”

Wood said a prospective buyer hopes to turn the McHenry Avenue building into apartments or condos.

Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley said city staff have fielded questions regarding condos, but nothing had been formally proposed for the site as of Wednesday.

“When and if something has been submitted, then we will be in a position to discuss that proposal,” he said in a statement. “I am not in a position to either support or oppose a plan or concept that has not – as of yet – materialized.”

School was struggling

In August, the board of delegates voted to keep the school open after thousands of dollars were raised to pay down debt and fund operations. The school, which opened in 2004, has faced years of declining enrollment.

About 25 percent of Faith Lutheran’s budget is funded by donations that come from association churches and their members.

About 45 percent of the school’s families are members of a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod association church, 30 percent are members of Protestant or Catholic churches, and 25 percent do not have a home church or are believers of a different faith, according to data from the school’s website.