JBU Announces $10.5 million Facility for Engineering and CM

Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 2, 2010) — Plans to build an approximately 40,000-square-foot facility to house John Brown University’s growing engineering and construction management programs were announced at a special event Tuesday morning by JBU President Dr. Chip Pollard. At the event, Dr. Pollard also announced an anonymous lead gift of $8 million to help fund the new building.

“The lead donors wish to remain anonymous, in part, because they believe these funds are available only by God’s grace and that God should receive the praise,” Dr. Pollard said. “This gift is one of the largest single gifts ever in the history of John Brown University, and we are deeply grateful.”

JBU’s engineering program is one of its largest, with over 90 majors and six faculty members. The construction management program has 55 students and three faculty members. Currently, the programs are spread out in three aging buildings. The new state-of-the-art facility, which is expected to take 18 months to design and build, will bring the programs under one roof.

“We’re proud of our engineering students and their successes,” said Dr. Larry Bland, head of the engineering department. “We have students working on federal grants building solar water heaters for the EPA and ‘lunabotics’ for NASA. Our undergrads have found jobs at firms like Texas Instruments, T.D. Williamson, Lockheed Martin and Boeing.”

“Our construction management program is 70 years old this year, and the work of our students can be seen in communities around the world,” said Professor Jim Caldwell, construction management department chair. “From Nairobi, Kenya to Dallas, Texas, our alumni have gone on to manage projects valued in the billions.”

Although the new facility is still in the very early design stage, current plans call for 20,000 to 25,000 square feet of classroom and office space with another 15,000 square feet of laboratory space, Dr. Pollard said. The program’s existing facilities only have 26,000 feet of usable space, none designed specifically for teaching engineering or construction management.

Students will begin using the facility as early as the fall of 2011.

Because of the addition of the building project, JBU will expand its current Keeping Faith campaign from $100 million to $110 million. In addition to nearly $50 million for endowed and annual scholarships, the Keeping Faith campaign has funded two new structures, the Bill George Arena and Berry Performing Arts Center, both scheduled to open this fall, and the addition of a new wing to the North Hall student residence. Other major facility projects include the Cathedral Group restoration project and the Kresge Dining Hall renovations.

“We have been blessed with many alumni and friends who have partnered with JBU to help students afford a quality Christian higher education at a campus with excellent facilities,” said Dr. Jim Krall, vice president for university advancement. “With $87 million in gifts and pledges to date, we expect to complete the new $110 million goal by our original completion date of June 30, 2012.”