Capital Campaign to Expand Student Campus Experience

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Interior renovations and exterior additions to Mary Gaston and R.K. Johnson residence halls will be readily apparent when students return to campus in August for the 2022–2023 academic year.

BJU has announced the launch of the public phase of the Living & Learning Capital Campaign, with work beginning immediately after Commencement in May. Renovating these residence halls will provide inviting and functional community space that will promote collaboration, build community and enhance student life.

The two halls were selected for the first phase because they have large, accessible spaces that can be used by all students.

“The BJU strategic plan that we launched this past year is committed first and foremost to the success of all of our students,” BJU President Steve Pettit told students during chapel Dec. 15. “We are seeking to provide intentionally designed spaces where transformational experiences can take place through a higher level of community, learning and mentoring. We are primarily focusing on renovating spaces where you can feel like you are living there, not just sleeping there.”

Components of the project include:

  • Convert eight to 10 current sleeping rooms in Johnson and Gaston to community space by expanding and improving the entry lobby and creating individual and group study spaces on each floor.
  • Refinish restrooms.
  • Refresh common corridors and install new lighting.
  • In the basement of each building, create a large common area that can be used by all students, not just freshmen, for group meetings and activities.
  • Install glass doors at main entrances and create welcoming, accessible routes to lower levels.
  • Create outside common areas featuring grilling and seating appropriate for individual and group study and collaboration.

According to Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations John Matthews: “Fulfilling the mission of BJU occurs in many places outside of the classroom — places where students spend the majority of their time. And while we have some wonderful spaces on campus for group study and fellowship, our students have been telling us that the No. 1 place they want to study and hang out is in the residence halls. Creating casual study spaces there, similar to what is found in The Den, will greatly impact student success.”

Learn how to make a tax-deductible donation to the capital campaign.

In a separate summer project, BJU will upgrade all residence hall networks.

“The new network will support a broader range of technologies than our students have been able to use in the residence halls before, such as smart speakers,” said Matt Gardenghi, director of academic technologies.

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David Lewandowski is the content manager in BJU’s Marketing department and a contributor to BJUtoday.