Building Project Update 2016


Phase 3 – Highway-Initiated Building Replacement & Development Project
(Aug 2015 – Dec 2016)

Phase 4 – Final Finish Phase (Science Lab, Gym, Sound Barrier, Parking Lot)
Jan 2017-Dec 2018

December 30, 2016


More than two years ago, CRICS learned that the Thai government needed to take part of our land and three of our buildings (following “eminent domain” procedures) for the construction of a new ring-road designed to ease increasing traffic congestion in the city.  We received some compensation from the government for the buildings, and for the land we lost. We also adjusted the campus master plan, and in September 2015 commenced immediate efforts to build a new cafeteria / meeting hall (cafetorium) and a new classroom building.  In addition, we began to raise another $US $315,000 through fundraising efforts, both here and in our home countries.  The cafetorium and classroom building were finished in time for school to start in August 2016.  Now, starting in January 2017, a final phase will be started.  It will complete facilities needed to fully accommodate 250 students, as per our original plan.  Approximately $215,000 still needs to be raised to complete the final phase.    

Phase 3- US $964,000 Highway Initiated Building Replacement & Development Project. Finished Dec 2016

  • Included redrawing of Master Plan so that facilities fit on the reduced amount of land still available.
  • Included rapidly building a large cafetoria / auditorium / admin building (cafetorium) and a large classroom building, increasing our capacity from 150 students to 200+ students – almost reaching our ultimate goal of 250 students maximum.
  • Included careful use of funds provided by government for reimbursement of land and buildings lost, modest development fees from parents, and fundraising activities to raise another $315,000.
  1. Final Finish Phase – US $ 430,000. Science Lab, Gym/Locker/ PE facilities, Sound Barrier, Parking Lot

Jan 2017 – Dec 2018.  Approximately 50% of funds are raised.  Still need to raise $215,000. 

Background – Our school grew out of a small home-schooling cooperative known as the Family Learning Center (FLC).  The vision, even in the early days of FLC, was to allow Chiang Rai servant families a chance to stay together by providing a high quality, affordable, Christian international English language medium school.

Our vision is – To help others know God and understand Him more fully by serving the body of Christ through providing quality Christian education in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

Our mission is – To “serve the servant” by providing quality, innovative, affordable, family-oriented English Christian education.

In addition, approximately 1/3 of current students are “local community kids” allowing Thai families to experience the love of Jesus on a daily basis, while also receiving an excellent English-medium education.

Over the past 10 years, highly-invested school parents started a legal foundation, founded a school board, recruited teachers, raised funds, and developed the facilities necessary to register the school with the Thai government.  After much hard work and a four-year process, the school received full accreditation with the Thai government, and with WASC and ACSI (two highly respected international education accreditation agencies).

Modest tuition fees from school families have allowed the school to operate successfully throughout the development process and have also provided 5 – 10% of funds needed for Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the building development.  These same servant families, through their networks and their churches, embraced the task of finding funds for the development of facilities.  Many prayers empowered the development process, and God provided all funds for the initial phases.  In addition, God answered prayers for voluntary, certified Christian teachers.  Through God’s kind providence, CRICS has now been in our own facilities for 6 years, during which time the student population grew from about 75 students to almost 185 students.  We have an ultimate goal of 250 students in the current location, with about 1/3 of the student population coming from local Thai families.

Project Costs, Past and Present:

Phase 1 – U.S. $ 625,000 for land purchase and preparation of buildings essential for registration, opening, and running a school for approximately 110 students.  COMPLETED

Phase 2 –  US $ 170,000 for Elementary Education Facilities to meet urgent needs of current students & expand to 130 students. COMPLETED

Consolidation Phase – US $180,000 for Regular Maintenance, Facility Improvement, and Landfill in preparation for the future.  The Basketball court, volleyball court, meeting area and soccer fields were completed using school fees and donations from fundraising efforts.   COMPLETED

Phase 3 – US $964,000 for the “Highway Initiated Building Replacement & Development Project.”  In addition to funds available we raised US $315,000 (with admin fees) to complete this phase.

Classrooms and facilities to replace three buildings unexpectedly lost to road construction by government, plus simultaneous building construction to increase student population from 150 students to 200+ students.  COMPLETED

Phase 4 – Final Phase U.S. $ 430,000 for final completion of facilities necessary for a school of 250 students.  We still need to raise $215,000 to complete this phase.     January 2017 – December 2018


Project Objectives – Why We Needed to Re-Build – and the Goal of the Re-Building Project

  1. Eminent Domain – The road came, and we had to move – As mentioned above, the government is building a ring-road to ease traffic congestion in the city and they are taking part of our land and three of our major buildings.  We had to build quickly and efficiently, and we have done so.
  2. Our Students Numbers Are Increasing – Since the Family Learning Center began the registration process as an international school, CRICS, student numbers continue to rise – from 70+ students five years ago, to 185 students now.  Furthermore, sending agencies continue moving forward with plans for placing families in the Chiang Rai area due to the availability of quality education in this three-country “Golden Triangle” area.  As part of their Master Planning, the Working Committee of the Board decided several years ago to set a maximum number of 250 students in the current location, and we originally planned to reach that goal by 2025.
  3. Taking Advantage of an Opportunity – In the face of the challenge with the road, we believed that God had good plans for CRICS and we chose to see it as a providential opportunity for growth.  Our new replacement buildings have now allowed us to grow – faster than originally planned.  We have taken that major step in the direction of our long-term goal of 250 students, while simultaneously replacing the buildings we lost to the highway.  Now we need to finish the gym and a few other structures to meet our goal of 250 students.
  4. Fundraising – For Phase 3, in addition to the government reimbursement of funds, CRICS families raised $275,000 US – including funds coming from capital fees and development fees charged to parents.  This leaves us enough funds to start the Final Phase 4, and we still need to raise about $215,000.
  5. Prayer Mobilization – Finally, and importantly, CRICS also needs people to continue praying for the completion of the new campus, and the recruitment of teachers to fully staff the school and meet the needs of the families involved.

More History of the School – Our Reason for Being

One key factor that allows many servant families to serve and reside in Chiang Rai is the possibility of an English language, Christian International School.  Servant families of Chiang Rai collectively started the original home school co-op, which later became CRICS.  It allowed us to meet this education need, and to simultaneously catalyze unity and cooperation between families and organizations serving in the area.  Now an accredited international school, government regulations designate responsibility for overseeing CRICS to the CRICS Legal School Board, and the Working Committee of the School Board.  This group consists of qualified and dedicated community members and parents who are committed followers of Christ.  They work hard to assure that no individual or group gains personally from this venture, and that all profits are put back into the school for the benefit of the students.


Financial Status of the School

Since CRICS received formal recognition as a legal project by the Thai ministry of education in 2006, each school year has ended with a positive cash balance.  Operating costs are completely paid for through tuition fees.  Initially the break-even point of income over expenditure was calculated at roughly about 70 children.  This breakeven number is now higher, closer to 190 students, due to increased costs associated with developing and maintaining accreditation, curriculum development, and further development of extracurricular activities.

Throughout the development process, CRICS administrators watched expenses carefully and we have been able to save between 5% and 10% of our tuition income every year.  In addition, CRICS established a capital fee in 2009, requiring payment by all CRICS families upon enrolment of their children in the school.  Recently, with the announcement of the loss of land and buildings to road construction by the government, CRICS also initiated an annual development fee of $600 per student.  This income has been, and will be, applied to various school development costs, including the construction of buildings.  We have been able to do this even though CRICS tuition fees are generally 20-50% lower than other international schools in Thailand.  This is an important factor since many servant families live on quite limited income.

The most significant factor in keeping our tuition costs low is the fact that CRICS expatriate Christian teachers do not receive a salary from the school.  In fact, these teachers raise their own support to come and serve in Thailand, by teaching at CRICS.  CRICS teachers come from abroad to volunteer as missionaries, “serving the servants”, whose families work in various ministries in Chiang Rai.  Servant (volunteer) teachers are a critical part of our strategy – they are the necessary foundation for the servant “heart” of the school and they keep the school affordable for missionary families.

Increasing cash flow from new student tuition will allow us to continue to develop curriculum, improve science labs, complete other development activities, and provide limited financial aid for some needy students.  Other special activities such as major financial aid services, and community service projects, are sometimes funded through donations and gifts.


The Parents’ Involvement – A Family Environment

Throughout the evolution of the school, parents, board members, and faculty have actively participated in the mission and vision of CRICS, raising funds to build, recruiting new teachers, and even digging fence post holes and planting grass, to move the CRICS mission forward.   Details of CRICS’s previous accomplishments are listed in Annex 1, current and future plans are covered in Annex 2, and more specific details regarding specific costs are listed in Annex 3.


A Few Words regarding Fundraising and Resource Development

From the beginning until now we recognize that our capital/building campaign would be described as a “grassroots, faith-based approach”.  “Grassroots” because we have consciously decided not to pay for outside resources for our development efforts, and “faith-based” because we are moving forward in these uncertain economic times with confidence, flexibility, and openness to how God will provide.  Our strategy leverages parents, volunteers and donors from all over the world working to secure funding and resources, and sharing the story of what God is doing.  In particular, we actively engage our own CRICS families to share the story with their personal supporters and commissioning organizations.

If you read Annex 3, you will see the details of how God has answered our prayers and honoured the efforts of 20-30 families, missionaries themselves, who were committed enough to use their own funds and access their own donors to support this effort. We were able to witness God empower and provide – it was a faith-building experience for all of us.

Originally the plan for Phase 3 was to gradually develop necessary facilities over a period of time.  However, the building of the road pushed CRICS to proceed toward development of our facilities earlier than we had originally planned.  Once again, we used a grassroots approach, with individual families being involved in praying and sharing the story of CRICS with potential financial and prayer partners.  In addition, some individuals put significant effort into speaking and sharing written materials with a broad audience. God used these various methods to fully raise the funds for the replacement buildings, and part of the funds needed to fully finish the campus.

How You Can Be a Partner in This Challenge?

Phases 3 & 4 – The government has reimbursed us and we have also depended on parents.  We still need to raise US $215,000 (including admin fees).  Many families have chosen to join in and help us meet this goal.  Would you consider partnering with us to meet this challenge?


Tax-deductible Methods


  1. International Ministries at
  2. Resourcing Christian Education International at


International Ministries, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851

Any checks sent to this address should be made out to “International Ministries” and noted (on the bottom left side of the check) for the “Development of CRICS.” You will receive a tax-deductible receipt directly from International Ministries (IM), a US-based missionary sending agency.


Direct Deposit to Building Project in Thailand: 

In Thailand deposits can be made into the school’s accounts.

Bank: Bangkok Bank Talad Baandu, Chiang Rai Branch

Account Number: 984-0-08618-6

Account Name: Chiang Rai International Christian School (โรงเรียนคริสเตียนนานาชาติเชียงราย)

Swift Code: BKKBTHBK Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited


For more details, including banking information, please read the following pages and visit our website at and  For a personal contact please email Ruth Fox, 




Phase 4.  Final Finish Phase

January 2017


Project Name:                   Final Finish Phase (Phase 4)

Organization:                      Chiang Rai International Christian School

Location                              331 Moo 14, Tambon Baan Duu, Amphur Muang, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand


Contact person:                 Mr. Brent Pennington, Superintendent

331 Moo 14, Tambon Baan Duu, Amphur Muang

   Chiang Rai, 57100, THAILAND

                                           Tel:  66-843-667-506        Email:


Approval Persons:           Mr. Wichai Songsaeng, Chair of CRICS Legal School Board 

   Dr. Peter Quesenberry, Chair of the CRICS Board Working Committee


January 2017 – This current project document is concerned primarily with Final Finish Phase (Phase 4).


Annex 1: A List of Jobs Completed and Prayers Answered

The School Board, in partnership with school staff, parents and the CEFT Board worked hard to purchase land and develop adequate facilities in order to be approved and registered by the Thai government as an international school.  CRICS also recruited high quality, English speaking, Christian teachers from around the world, and we continue to assist these teachers and local teachers along their professional paths.  Some completed goals include –

  • Completed an initial 2-year process resulting in a curriculum approved by the Thai government.
  • Following a process of more than three years, CRICS received full accreditation status from the Thai government, and from two N. American accreditation agencies, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
  • Completed and approved the internal policies for the school.
  • Developed and utilized a budgeting process requiring good stewardship and a business model providing for positive income over expenses (including slight savings) for all 10 years since initiating the budgeting and accounting processes at FLC and now CRICS.
  • Developed an on-going teacher and faculty recruiting plan to adequately staff our school, ensuring a strong future for CRICS with a goal of high retention for present teachers.
  • Purchased 7.2 acres of land (approximately 2.8 Hectares) at a very good price.  The note for the land was paid in full to Bangkok Bank using donations from friends and families of the CRICS Board and the school.
  • The CRICS building committee developed budget estimates using building plans.  The figures for Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3, were accurate and all phases were successfully completed.
  • A covered basketball / volleyball area, with open walls, was also completed.  This area is used daily by students and teachers, giving some shelter from heavy rains and intense sun of this part of the world.  A grassy soccer field was also completed and has become a place where the “CRICS Community Families” can frequently been seen, playing and interacting together.
  • Upon hearing that the road was coming through the Working Committee of the school board immediately started working to re-do the Master Plan, resulting in detailed plans for new buildings which fitted on the land available.  (We lost about 15% of our land.)
  • From Aug 2015 – Aug 2016, we completed a three-story classroom building and a two-story cafeteria / meeting structure with admin rooms under it.  This allowed us to effectively use land space, and also expand the number of classrooms available for the future.

Annex 2: Work in Process and Future Plans for Development

Development of the Academic and Extracurricular Aspects of the School

The board and Working Committee, continuing in partnership the school leadership team and parents, is working to…

  • Maintain our accreditation with the help of a “continuous school development plan” that has been developed.
  • Plan and develop a new Science Lab meeting necessary specifications for international schools.
  • Plan for further improvement of gymnasium/athletic facilities that will provide for athletic and physical education needs, as well as community development and large group activities.
  • Further develop the new “School Wide Improvement” plan and make plans for continual curriculum review.
  • In conjunction with the Master Plan, develop a Long-Term budget that will keep the school affordable for missionary families, and simultaneously allow academic development and full use of facilities and land.


Phase 3.  Highway Initiated Building Replacement & Development Project

  • In addition to what the government reimbursed us for our land and buildings, we calculated that we needed to raise $300,000 US (315,000 including admin fees).  Some of this came from development and capital fees charged to parents, but the majority came from fundraising in our home countries.
  • We took advantage of the opportunity, and our new buildings are higher and larger than the previous buildings.  This allowed us to almost reach our long-term goal of 250 students.
  • The most urgent buildings (the cafetorium and the classroom building) were most urgent.  So those were finished first – in time for school to start in August of 2016.  The basketball court and the science classroom must also be moved within the next year but the road department is allowing us to keep them a bit longer as the are on the edge of the new road.  Thus we have been able to “push back” the science lab and the basketball court, into Phase 4.  This has greatly helped keep the school learning environment a bit more stable – in spite of the on-going construction work.


Phase 4 – US $ 430,000 Final Finishing Phase.    Starts after January 1, 2017.

This final phase includes the science lab, PE facilities (the covered basketball/volleyball court, shower block, weight and dance room), a new water system, parking lot, sound wall barrier, a few more covered walkways, and parking lot.  It will provide the final facilities needed for a school of 250 students.  We have enough funds to get started as soon as the building permits are approved – hopefully in early 2017.

We currently have about half the funds we need ($215,000 US) to finish this phase.  We are already actively fundraising for the remaining funds.

For Budget Details Please Read the Document:Annex 3 Budget Details


A family learning community since 1998, Chiang Rai International Christian School (CRICS) exists to serve the servant in Northern Thailand by providing quality, innovative, affordable, family-oriented English Christian Education. For Christians who would like to volunteer teach in Thailand, Chiang Rai International Christian School is an excellent place to serve.

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Phone: (053-702-185 Local) (Internationally +66-53-702-185)

Street Address: 331 Moo 14 T. Baan Duu A. Muang, Chiang Rai 57100


CRICS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), and Thailand’s Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA).




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