Aerial view of Centennial Hall construction. Courtesy photo.
Every year the Marshall News Messenger publishes a special Progress Edition. On this past Sunday, Centennial Hall was featured on the front cover of this special edition. Below is the story published by the Marshall News Messenger on the progress of Centennial Hall.
MARSHALL NEWS MESSENGER (3/23/14) – East Texas Baptist University’s newest residence hall is primed to complete construction by the beginning of the fall semester.
The idea for a new residence hall and living life center has been in the works at ETBU since early 2012.
“The project was discussed by the ETBU Board of Trustees beginning in January of 2012,” said ETBU President Dr. Samuel “Dub” Oliver. “The new living learning center was one of the recommendations that resulted from The Centennial Council and documented in their report. The project was approved by the Board in September of 2012, and planning and designing commenced immediately.”
Once the groundwork was laid out, construction began on the new building last year.
“Construction began May 6, 2013,” Oliver said. “There is one building being built that will hold 362 students, one faculty in residence, and one resident director. The total cost of the project is $20.675 million.”
Dubbed the Centennial Hall, the new residence is a testament to ETBU’s history in Marshall. As a living learning center, the new building will not only serve as a home for students, but also a place of learning and academic opportunities.
“The living learning center is named Centennial Hall,” Oliver said. “The name is in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of East Texas Baptist University (originally called the College of Marshall). Centennial Hall celebrates the history and heritage of a great institution as well as points to the bright future of ETBU.”
Though Centennial Hall started construction under Oliver’s presidency at ETBU, it will not be completed until after his departure from Marshall to serve as president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn. Oliver expects the building to be fully installed and ready for use by Aug. 1.
“Centennial Hall will advance the mission of ETBU by building on the core strengths of the university while helping us attract and retain even more students,” he said. “ETBU is a classic Christian liberal arts institution that is residential based.”
“In order for the University to grow, we needed additional residence hall space to house students. With a faculty in residence, a classroom in the building, and spaces organized to maximize student interaction, the building will help us be even better at those core strengths.”
The residence hall isn’t the only construction project slated for completion this summer; Oliver noted that tennis courts are set for completion in July. After that, the future of ETBU’s construction falls into the hands of the school’s next president.
“There are always facility needs and projects to work on in the future,” Oliver said. “The next one to be built immediately will be the tennis courts (to be started in May 2014 and completed by the end of July 2014).”
“There are other projects under consideration – academic buildings, performance spaces and athletic facilities – but there is nothing in the queue after the tennis courts. The new president will have the opportunity to chart that course.”
(Used by permission Marshall News Messenger. Written by Education Reporter Austin King)