Siloam Springs, Arkansas (April 2, 2012) - A new banquet hall and new townhouse apartment buildings are scheduled to open for John Brown University students and the community in summer 2013, the university announced at its semi-annual board of trustees meeting this weekend.
The new projects will be paid for by gifts and not from tuition dollars, said Dr. Jim Krall, vice president of university advancement. An anonymous $4 million lead gift has kicked off the giving. For the two projects, $8 million will be raised to cover the cost of construction and endowment for operational expenses. The 17,000-square foot banquet hall, which has been informally dubbed the Great Hall, will seat approximately 500 people. The Great Hall will feature the ability to be divided into three separate rooms and include modern audio/visual presentation features. The project will also renovate the joint entrance area of the Mabee and Chapman Administration buildings.
“The Great Hall will be a wonderful facility for gatherings and fellowship for JBU students and our Northwest Arkansas community,” said Dr. Chip Pollard, president. “We have enormous gratitude for the anonymous lead gift to get this project started.” The Great Hall will be built adjacent to the Kresge Dining Hall and will be accessible for daily overflow from the cafeteria. Also, non-JBU events normally held in the Kresge Dining Hall will be able to be held in the Great Hall, avoiding the displacement of students during meal times.
The new 10,000 square-foot townhouse apartment facility will be built on the north slope, an area near the existing JBU townhouses. The apartments will consist of two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open living room/kitchen area and individual laundry facilities. When completed, the townhouse apartments will likely be used to house as many as 40 upperclassmen, with the possibility of use by married students, nontraditional students or even staff, said Dr. Steve Beers, vice president for student development and facilities.
“The residential experience is core to many of our educational programs,” said Dr. Beers. “These new apartments will provide us with comfortable, flexible spaces to meet the housing needs of our diverse residential students.” Pending appropriate approvals from the City of Siloam Springs, Beers said he expects both facilities to be open by July 2013.
John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked first among Southern regional colleges by U.S. News & World Report and is listed as one of America's Best Colleges by Forbes. JBU enrolls more than 2,100 students from 41 states and 44 countries. JBU is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.