Pine Mountain Gospel Church, operating in the former Backus School building, plans to use a portion of the newest section of that building to open Foothills Christian Academy in the fall of 2016.

Church representatives updated the Backus City Council on Monday, July 6, on these plans.

The council approved a request to reactivate the building's fire sprinkler system and a 2-inch water line near the back of the building. The sprinkler system is required for the church to open the building for use as a school.

Church representatives also informed the council that they had intended to open the school to as many as 40 students from pre-K to grade eight in the fall with online courses for higher grade levels, but those plans were delayed to raise additional funds and more properly prepare for the opening.

One means of raising funds will be a thrift store modeled after a successful thrift store in the southern part of the state. The store will be located in the former music room near the back of the building. All the funds would go toward the school and to reduce student tuition.

The thrift store could open as early as August, though the actual opening date may be much later.

Foothills Christian Academy's mission is to incorporate Christian teaching into all lessons at the school. For more information, visit