Student life initiatives continue to enhance the SBTS experience

Communications Staff — February 18, 2010

Even to the most casual observer, it is easy to see that The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College are making campus-wide upgrades. In 2008-09, the Southern community saw the Duke K. McCall Sesquicentennial Pavilion rise on the east side of campus and appreciated the appearance of directional signs and flourishing landscaping across Southern’s 80 acres. In 2009, the Honeycutt Student Center welcomed the campus mall, Boyce College’s Patio Room was upgraded, several of the residence halls received updated paint and the campus’ internet bandwidth was strengthened.

As Southern settles into 2010, remodel work has been completed in Cooke Hall, which serves as the home to the School of Church Ministries, and additional upgrades to classrooms across campus are being launched. The Honeycutt Center’s Health and Recreation Center has been under renovation since January 2010 and upon completion, will be more accessible to students and offer more opportunities for families to use the center together.

“We are completely modernizing the Health and Recreation Center,” Dan Dumas, Southern’s senior vice president of institutional administration, said. “With this project we’ve taken into consideration young children and mothers. There will be places for mothers to gather and talk while their children play. There will be a total upgrade to everything from the facility entrance, to the locker rooms, to the types of games, etc. We’ve also decided to open the Recreation Center at 6 a.m., allowing more time for students and employees to workout in the mornings and still have plenty of time to get ready for class or work.

“The Recreation Center’s pool renovation is in response to a new national law that requires all pool drains to have reverse-flow protectors. Since we were making the safety upgrade already, we decided to go ahead and repair some ceiling leaks and bring the entire space up to date and to make it more appealing.”

Dumas has been working with Southern’s President, R. Albert Mohler Jr., and the Executive Cabinet to plan, fund and initiate these improvement projects and is excited to see what is still in store for Southern’s campus and students.

“We really want to mister to and care for our students. We want to put our capital funds towards the students and their student life experiences,” Dumas said. “We are building all the time; we are rolling out large quantities of capital and energy towards projects that are for the students and will only better their experience at Southern as they prepare for Gospel ministry.”

Dumas is looking forward to this spring, when construction begins on two state-of-the-art conversation pits, which will be located outside of the Mullins Hall and Fuller Hall complexes.

“These conversation pits will include fire pits, gas grills, Wi-Fi accessibility and comfortable seating for a crowd,” Dumas said. “These are areas that will serve as conversation and discipleship places, and places to take advantage of the climate that we enjoy here in Louisville.”

The Executive Cabinet is hoping projects like the conversation pits will further the community spirit that is already prevalent at Southern.

Campus safety and security are also paramount issues to Southern’s administration. This year, a 360° security camera and emergency phone post, which will be connected with the Campus Safety and Security office, will be installed between the seminary lawn and Boyce College. Dumas said that within the next 12 to 18 months similar posts will be deployed across campus.

Another major improvement to campus security comes with door-entry security upgrades. Within the year, all Mullins Hall outside-entry doors will require a hand scan for admission. Once the technology is installed in Mullins Hall, similar systems will be installed in other residence halls.

Dumas and the Executive Cabinet are engaging a master plan to roll-out additional campus-wide security measures and facility upgrades, but as with all growth, expansion is limited by time and funding. The electrical work that comes with security upgrades and remodeling buildings the size of Southern’s are not projects done overnight nor are they done inexpensively.

“The big issue is that we want to make sure that we are deploying capital towards strategic, well thought out student life and security projects,” Dumas said.

Dumas and the Executive Cabinet are developing plans for the projects listed below, which are scheduled to be implemented in the next 12 to 18 months:

  • Upgrading student lounges in residence halls and campus-wide buildings.
  • Relocating residence hall laundry facilities from the basement to a main floor and digitalizing machines for efficiency.
  • Renovating residence hall kitchenettes.
  • Installing additional lighting in campus-wide parking lots.
  • Instigating a five-year master plan for renovating on-campus apartments. Renovations will start with the Springdale Apartments and will include kitchen and bathroom upgrades and installation of new carpet and windows.
  • Monthly student financials will be emailed directly to students from the accounting office.
  • Continuing the advancement of climate control in Southern and Boyce College classrooms.
  • Renovating Crismon Hall to include larger classroom space.
  • Reviewing dining hours to ensure they cover class schedules.

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

Apply now for summer or fall studies

Classes begin in June & Aug.