Living, Learning and Faith Integrate in New JBU Student Cent

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Siloam Springs, Ark (January 7, 2002) - Construction hats gave way to baseball caps, and brick work and masonry were replaced by homework as students, faculty and staff at John Brown University took full occupancy of JBU’s new 102,000 sq. ft. student center over winter break. On January 7 -- the first day of classes in the new year -- the JBU family found itself at home in the Pat and Willard Walker Student Center, a spacious community center/residence hall.

The facility is named in honor of Pat and Willard Walker, friends of the university and long-time Arkansas philanthropists, who made a generous donation to the project. “This generous couple is making a major difference in the lives of thousands of students through their vision, “ said JBU President Dr. Lee Balzer.

Designed by Dallas Taylor Architects of Dallas, Tex. and built by Nabholz Construction, Inc. of Little Rock, the total cost of the building is $12.7 million. The multi-use facility houses students and provides office space and classrooms for the Biblical Studies department. The Walker Center also provides space for student development, counseling services, the Center for Marriage and Family Studies, student government, campus and CAUSE ministries, the JBU bookstore, post office, the “California Café” snack bar and the atrium.

Construction on the building began in spring 2000 and students moved into the residential space in the fall of 2001. Eighty-six rooms, designed as two-room suites with a shared bath, provide housing for 172 male and female students. Each floor offers residents a lounge, computer lab and study area. Women live on the first two floors and men occupy the third. In the public portion of the building, the post office, snack bar and bookstore open to an atrium. All of these elements allow the new building to serve as a social and spiritual hub for the university.

“I’m delighted with this new facility. It’s gorgeous!” Dr. Balzer said. “More importantly, it brings us a community center- a place for all to connect with the entire JBU environment. Of course, the entire building represents the total mission of JBU, distinctly Christian learning, living, and healthy relationship building, right at the center of campus. It is a true ‘head, heart, hand’ place.”

A formal building dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the student center will take place later this spring.

John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,600 students from 46 states and 30 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, and the Council for Independent Colleges.

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