Acadia Divinity College was advised in 2013 that the College building was deteriorating and needed significant restoration to keep it structurally sound. We embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise the $1.5 million required for this project. By the end of 2017 and blessed by several significant gifts, we had almost reached the half-way mark of our fundraising goal.
Then we received some unexpected news.
In November 2017, architect and construction reports showed that interior upgrades are required to meet more stringent fire and life safety codes, enhance accessibility for persons with physical disabilities, and improve interior air quality. These requirements were unanticipated when we received the first report five years ago. The expanded scope of the refurbishment has significantly increased the cost of the project; the new projected total budget estimate is $2.3 million.
Having a strong home base is critical to the work of the College. We need to undertake this work to have a suitable and adequate facility for training the next generation for ministry. At its meeting on January 15, 2018, the Board of Trustees carefully considered all options, noted the improvements in the safety and work environment that the interior work will create, and made the unanimous decision to complete both the exterior repair and the interior renovation. Douglas Schofield, Chair, Acadia Divinity College Board of Trustees noted, “The Board is confident that this decision will result in an excellent facility that will serve well and provide a comfortable environment for learning.”
Construction will begin in early May with completion by December 2018. During the extensive renovations, classes will be held in buildings throughout the Acadia University campus. Faculty, staff and ADC offices are moving to a temporary home in Willett House, located across University Avenue from the K. C. Irving Environmental Science Centre. While we look forward to our return to the renovated College building for the Winter Term 2019, we are grateful to the University for providing a location that will allow us to work together in the same facility for the eight months of construction.
With the new cost estimates and the start date for the construction only months away, our need in this area is more pressing than ever before. Please prayerfully consider a financial gift to provide a safe and effective space for the College to carry out its mission “to equip Christian leaders”.