(April 20, 2011)
Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073
Centenary announces $5 million in campus reinvestments
SHREVEPORT, La. (Centenary News Service) — Today Dr. B. David Rowe, President of Centenary College, announced major funding for reinvestments in campus infrastructure. In sum, almost $5 million is dedicated to several vital projects that will enhance the campus's physical plant and address other pressing needs.
"The slated improvements will enhance the infrastructure necessary to support the campus as an active, living-learning environment," said Dr. Rowe. "These campus investments will have an immediate transformational impact on campus, and we look forward to creating an even more inviting place to live, learn, and lead."
The largest project will be $1 million in upgrades to Mickle Hall, the home of natural and physical science and host to Centenary's impressive pre-med program which boasts a track record of nearly 100% medical school placement for students. Constructed in 1948, Mickle is an aging facility that will be modernized based upon needs identified by science faculty members in consultation with campus facilities staff.
Dr. Rowe commented, "We want Centenary students to learn to lead with the curiosity of scientists regardless of what field they choose to pursue, but that goal isn't always supported by our aging facility. With the collaboration of our faculty and staff, resources will be invested prudently to give Mickle the attention it needs."
Of the other improvements, some will be readily apparent as early as the start of the fall semester, such as upgrades in residence halls and parking lots and the completion of the sidewalk loop encircling the campus. However, others, such as energy efficiency measures and the replacement of heating and cooling equipment, will not be seen at all but are considered at least as important by the administration. Additionally, students will have an opportunity to address what they consider to be pressing needs with $100,000 of the funds earmarked for projects selected by student leadership organizations.
"Our physical infrastructure and campus grounds are important facets of the overall living-learning environment, so it is necessary and prudent to invest intentionally and proactively in these areas as we're able," said William H. Ballard, Centenary's Vice President of Finance and Administration. Ballard also noted that the funding for these projects is unrelated to the recent pledge of $5 million for a scholarship endowment.
The campus reinvestment is funded from multiple sources, including a gift made in 2008 by a Centenary Trustee whose goal was to secure Centenary's future by making necessary campus improvements. In this project, the upgrade of residence halls and academic buildings will build upon efforts he began a few years ago to improve the total educational experience of students. Additionally, a generous grant from the Women's Endowment Quorum (WEQ) will fund other vital projects such as library enhancements, classroom and equipment upgrades, and event signage.
The funding sources are rounded out by a strategic decision to refinance the College's debt, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual debt service payments which will also allow for an additional $1.5 million in investment in energy efficiency projects and continued savings in utility costs.
About Centenary College of Louisiana
Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 373 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.