The College Building Re-Dedicated and Renewed for another 50 years
On Friday, June 21, 2019, Dr. Harry Gardner, President of Acadia Divinity College and the Dean of Theology of Acadia University, officiated at the Ceremony of Re-Dedication for the College building. Due to heavy rainfall, 175 guests gathered at Wheelock Dining Hall. Dr. Gardner said, “While we desired to be on the lawn of the College facility, we are grateful to Acadia University for making this space available within sight of the College building.”
At the outset it was recognized that the College is rooted within the soil and soul of Acadia University and the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada, and that it stands on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kma’ki. The cutting of the ribbon and the presentation of the ceremonial key included noteworthy contributors of this project, the contractor, BD Stevens Ltd., and the architect, Sheila Keating. Dr. Gardner stated, “This ribbon is cut as a symbol of the opening of a new day that God has given to us. The ceremonial key is accepted as a sacred trust on behalf of the faculty, staff, and students of Acadia Divinity College.”
Dr. Malcolm Card, Board of Trustees Vice-Chair, expressed appreciation to everyone who worked together towards this shared vision, “Thank you for joining us in this vital project. Your offerings of time, effort, and tithes are gratefully accepted and will be remembered for generations. This building is central to the mission of the College and the University, and has an important role to play in ensuring that a high standard of theological education will continue to be available at Acadia, in Atlantic Canada, to students from nearby and around the world.”
Renewal of the College Building
Acadia Divinity College has seen the evidence of God’s faithfulness throughout its history.
Two engineering reports completed in 2013 had determined that the building exterior was deteriorating and needed significant restoration to keep it structurally sound. The projected budget was $1.5 million for a new envelope including new windows. The fundraising campaign began the following year.
Then, in November 2017, architect and construction reports showed that interior upgrades were also required to meet more stringent fire and life safety codes, enhance accessibility for persons with physical disabilities and improve interior air quality. This expanded scope increased the cost of the project to $2.3 million. The renovations began on May 1, 2018.
Through the demolition process, more deficiencies were identified, requiring additional work to ensure compliance with the current building code. On January 31, 2019, the Board of Trustees authorized this work with a revised final budget of $2.85 million. With the monies raised thus far, the funds still needed for the revitalization of the College building is in the order of $1.74 million.
The renovated College building will provide an excellent learning environment for many generations. Please pray for Acadia Divinity College as we face the challenge to raise the needed funds and keep the mission of equipping Christian leaders at the forefront.