Dome topping ceremony marks construction milestone

Communications Staff — November 5, 2008

Students and faculty at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary witnessed a milestone Nov. 4 in the construction of the school’s new welcome pavilion.

Before construction workers raised a 27-foot dome to the top of the building, members of the seminary family had an opportunity to sign their names to the dome’s steel frame.

“This new pavilion will be a major feature on this campus,” seminary president R. Albert Mohler Jr. said.

“It’s going to bring cohesiveness to the entire front (and) perspective to the campus. It will help us with everything from the people flow of the institution to adding very important space for us in terms of conference space, welcome space and office space. We’re looking forward to it becoming a major part of this campus.”

Scheduled for completion in the spring of 2009 to celebrate Southern’s 150th anniversary, the welcome pavilion will house campus security, admissions, a campus welcome center and other offices.

Dan Dumas, senior vice president for institutional administration, has given oversight to the construction and said reaching this milestone heightens anticipation of the finished product.

“I just can’t wait to see the finished product of this particular building,” Dumas said. “I believe it’s going to be stunning. It’s going to serve the campus for years to come as far as accessibility, for guest relationships as they come onto campus, bringing our security forward, brining our admissions forward. And I just think it’s going to be a fabulous asset to this campus.”

Mohler added that signing and raising the dome was an historical moment.

“Generationally we’re going to have the opportunity to do this only once,” he said. “And that is to sign a building as it is being constructed.”

In addition to the welcome pavilion, Southern is also constructing a new welcome gatehouse along Lexington Road. Mohler said progress on both structures has been encouraging.

“Each day is has been encouraging to look out and see the progress on this building and in other areas of the campus,” he said.

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