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Sunday, September 21, 2014, 9:31 p.m.
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Construction underway on CBC residence hall

By Tammy Keith

This article was published January 26, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

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This architectural drawing depicts the residence hall that is under construction at Central Baptist College in Conway. The $6.7 million building, scheduled to be completed in August, is the first residence hall to be built on the campus in 49 years.

CONWAY — When the three-story residence hall is completed, students at Central Baptist College in Conway will have a new place to live on campus for the first time in 49 years.

Construction is underway on a $6.7 million, 150-bed facility.

It will be built on the south part of campus, at Conway Boulevard and Bruce Street, south of the A.R. Reddin Fieldhouse. Four homes and one duplex, owned by CBC, were torn down to make room for the new residence hall.

CBC student Dillon Nix of Magnolia said he is “super excited” about the new dorm.

Nix, a sophomore, said he lives in Williams Hall.

That’s the last residence hall constructed on campus, built in 1964, said Deanna Ott, director of public relations.

“It’s older; it’s not bad, though. It’s nice,” Nix said.

Still, Nix said he hopes to live in the new residence hall.

“I’m excited that we will have private bathrooms instead of community bathrooms,” he said.

“Everybody’s really excited about it. They’re excited to have somewhere new to hang out. It will have an area that will have TVs, and games such as pingpong tables,” Nix said.

Max Story, also of Magnolia, made a $6 million commitment — a $2 million down payment on the project with a pledge of another $4 million — the largest in CBC history. That leaves only $700,000 for CBC to fund.

Neither Story nor his wife attended CBC, he said in a previous interview in the River Valley & Ozark Edition. However, Story said, he has a grandson who attends the college and a granddaughter who graduated from CBC.

“We’re members of First Baptist [Church] in Magnolia,” Story said. “We’re committed to the Lord’s work, and that’s what this is, trying to raise up Christian young men and women. I think it will promote the Lord’s work, and the Lord has blessed us.

“They need some dorms there; that’s obvious if you’ve ever been there.”

Ott said residence halls are “an integral part of the campus experience and a powerful recruiting tool. This addition will help meet the needs of a growing student population and improve campus life for our students.”

The new residence hall has not yet been named, Ott said.

The lead architect on the building is Liz Hamilton of Rik Sowell Architects in Conway.

“The east side of the building along Conway Boulevard will boast a lawn and neighborhood courtyard,” Hamilton said in a press release. “By maintaining the majesty of the old trees in Conway and providing new gathering areas for students, we hope to enhance the streetscape of the neighborhood and give the students a relaxing place to live.”

Design elements for the residence hall include a main lobby on the ground floor, big enough for student games, lounging, movies and group study; a covered main porch entry; resident director apartments; study tables and chairs; lounges on each floor; patio space; and private bathrooms.

The residence hall is the third of 10 projects in the college’s Vision 2020: A Miracle in the Making capital fundraising campaign.

Launched publicly in January 2011, CBC President Terry Kimbrow said it is the “most aggressive” campaign ever undertaken by the college. The campaign has exceeded $16 million in contributions.

Clark Contractors, LLC of Little Rock, is building the residence hall, which is scheduled to be completed in August.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or tkeith@arkansasonline.com.

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