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Work Set to Begin on Christian Center and Visual Arts Center

by Web on August 16, 2017

When you visit the Millsaps campus over the next couple of years, be sure to watch out for construction zones.

Following approval of the Board of Trustees, a $19.2 million contract has been executed with the W.G. Yates and Sons Construction Co. for the renovation of the Christian Center and the construction of a new Visual Arts Center and West Gate entrance to campus. These capital projects will significantly reinforce the College’s academic program and help advance multiple goals of the strategic plan, including enhancing campus facilities, reinforcing our ethical heritage and relationship with The United Methodist Church, expanding the student body, and achieving the College motto: Ad Excellentiam.

The Christian Center renovation, anticipated to take 18 months, will provide a new home for the departments of English, history, philosophy, and religious studies as well as classrooms and seminar space for the humanities. It will also include a classroom designed to accommodate learning experiences that are not possible in the current facilities, and a new chapel—a sacred space—for people of all faiths and backgrounds. Once complete, this new and beautiful structure will be renamed as the Selby and Richard McRae Christian Center, in thanksgiving for the generosity of the McRae family and their gifts toward the project.

The new Visual Arts Center, funded in significant part by the Windgate Foundation (AR) and to be named in the foundation’s honor, will enhance and expand the studio art offerings of the College as well as create new gallery and classroom space for the art and art history departments. A new entrance on West Street – the original front door of campus – will allow easy and safe access to and from campus, enhancing the many activities associated with the new Visual Arts Center, the chapel, the Else School, 1 Campus 1 Community, and more, and it will promote greater community participation in unique campus facilities like the James Observatory and the new track and soccer facilities. The construction of the Visual Arts Center and new West Gate entrance will take about 14 months to complete.

Combined, these new capital projects will transform an important part of the campus and make a powerful statement about the excellence of the Millsaps experience.