There are several construction plans currently in the works for the campus of Southern Adventist University, according to Associate Vice President of Financial Administration Marty Hamilton. One of those projects will take place at McKee Library.
“Our next project is replacing the front entrance to the McKee Library,” Hamilton said. “Those drawings are in process, and we expect to have them ready to submit to the State of Tennessee by November.
“It will update the entrance and entry into the building,” he added. “The second floor of the entrance will add more square footage for seating and studying space. Some seating will occur in the entry on the first floor as well.”
Hamilton said digital renderings of the projects are not ready to be shared publicly yet, but reconstruction of the library’s front entrance is scheduled to begin in January 2022. Hamilton further explained some of the complications and logistics that the construction will face.
“We have to create a temporary entrance on the north end of the building toward Hackman Hall,” Hamilton said. “One of the challenges is how to demolish the current entrance while keeping students safe on the promenade.”
When asked why the university is pursuing the library construction project, Hamilton said, “We have received donor funding to update and improve the McKee Library for student use. The new entrance will not require any funding from the university’s budget. The McKee Library is a highly-used facility and important to our students and their academic work.”
In addition to the front of the McKee Library, the landscaping near Talge Hall will also gain some improvements in the near future. According to Hamilton, these improvements will include a new retaining wall, a sidewalk on Talge Hall’s west side and the removement of railroad ties.
In addition, plans concerning the use of the old student center are being discussed with President Shaw. The now unused office space will be repurposed in the future.
The Campus Shop also moved to the Bietz Center, where it has been renamed “The Southern Shoppe.” It was formerly located between the Village Market and the Adventist Book Center, across the street from the main grounds of campus. “There are no plans yet for the old campus shop,” Hamilton said concerning the vacant location. “We are working on our long-range goals with the president and formulating a vision for the use of spaces on campus. It could be leased out to a commercial tenant.”