New arena construction set to begin

Siloam Springs, Ark. (July 27, 2009) — John Brown University is pleased to announce that the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla. has committed $1.5 million dollars towards the construction of the Bill and Donna Berry Performing Arts Center and the arena. Including the Mabee challenge grant, JBU has raised $14,700,000 in cash and written pledges for the construction of both buildings. Over the next year JBU will continue to raise the $3.3 million needed to meet the Mabee challenge grant.

“The Mabee Foundation challenge grant comes at a crucial time in our fundraising for the arena and the Berry Performing Arts Building, and we look forward to meeting that challenge over the next year through the generous support of JBU’s alumni and friends” Dr. Charles Pollard, JBU president, said. “The Mabee Foundation has supported JBU over many years, and we are deeply grateful for their faithful partnership in helping us carry out the mission of JBU to educate students to honor God and serve others. These new facilities will greatly enhance our capacity to carry out that mission.”

“We are very grateful to the Mabee Foundation for their challenge grant,” said Jim Krall, JBU Vice President for University Advancement. “Their timing is perfect. This challenge grant is a wonderful blessing to JBU.”

The 28,000-square-foot Bill and Donna Berry Performing Arts Center will be a venue for JBU theatre productions, music recitals and performances, speakers and lecturers, small chapel programs, and other special campus events.

The 38,000-square-foot multipurpose arena will provide much need space for athletic events, commencement, and other special JBU gatherings.

The location of the performing arts center will be west of the Mabee/Chapman parking lot near the Broadhurst housing complex. The arena will be located east of the Murray Sells gymnasium where student parking was previously located. New parking areas are being created near the tennis courts and North Hall.

The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa awards grants for building projects to Christian charitable and religious organizations in addition to private colleges and universities.

To apply for the Mabee grant, the foundation requires applicants to have at least 50 percent of the project cost before submitting application. JBU had already obtained $13,200,000 in pledges and gifts when the application was sent to the foundation.

The grant from the Mabee Foundation completes the needed resources to begin construction on both buildings.

Architects SPARKS Education, A division of Crafton, Tull, Sparks & Associates, Inc. and general contractor Nabholtz were selected to work on both projects.

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