Rudolph Brooks and other students moved into a new, enriching living experience this fall at Jarvis Christian College.
“I like it. I love it. There should be more like this,” Brooks, a junior from Dallas, said as walked the campus with earphones and a visor resting on his cranium. “The Wi-Fi is stable. The building’s design is good. The rooms are larger. It’s been a real nice experience.”
Brooks is describing life as a resident of one of Jarvis’ new dormitories, which became available to students earlier this semester.
The college celebrated the dormitories Friday (Oct. 12) with a Consecration and Grand Opening of the 192-bed, $24 million project. It also included the renovation of an existing residence hall, which is timely since Jarvis’ first-year enrollment jumped 90 percent and overall enrollment is up about 5 percent.
The Rev. Chris Dorsey, a member of Jarvis’ Board of Trustees, led the audience in a consecration prayer while other trustees, campus and community leaders touted the project’s significance.
The new facilities have computer and lounge areas, classrooms and a faculty apartment in each building. Each facility will have its own theme.
“This has been a long time coming,” President Dr. Lester C. Newman told the crowd. “We have a true living and learning experience here at Jarvis.”
Dr. Glenell Lee-Pruitt, provost and vice president for academic affairs, echoed Newman’s sentiments.
“This is the consummation of an enriched relationship between academic affairs and student services where learning can take place in classroom settings and computer labs in the living environment, which will enhance the students’ total experience,” Lee-Pruitt said.
Others, including Kiki Bettis of the Wood County Industrial Commission and Hawkins Mayor Tom Parker, expressed excited about the new buildings.
“The development of this project reflects growth” said Bettis, the Industrial Commission’s executive director. “Growth at the college and growth in Wood County. This will impact this county for years to come.”
Parker, after joking that he felt a little out of place because of his jeans, said: “This gives more students more opportunities to make good grades. Thank you for this opportunity. I am who I am, so I’ve got to get back to work. See you later.”
William F. Fisher, vice chair of Jarvis’ Board of Trustees, offered a fitting context.
“We are not here to celebrate these structures,” Fisher said as he pointed toward the new buildings. “We are here to celebrate these students. They’ve decided to come to Jarvis and we are going to invest in these young people to help them reach their potential.