Jarvis hosts grand opening of new dormitories

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Jarvis Christian College held a grand opening ceremony Oct. 12 to celebrate two new residential halls.

These new dormitories bring 192 beds to Jarvis and include computer and lounge areas, classrooms and a faculty apartment in each building. At a cost of $24 million, the project also included a renovation to an existing residential hall.

Located in Hawkins, Jarvis is a private historically black liberal arts college affiliated with the Disciples of Christ.

Jarvis Christian College President Dr. Lester C. Newman said the dormitories will be a place for students to live comfortably and graduate.

“We do truly have a living and learning facility here at Jarvis Christian College. We do want to create a true partnership with the members of the community,” Newman said. “What you see did not just come from the administration and faculty. We want this to be the beginning of great opportunities for Jarvis. I cannot say enough about the family of Jarvis.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held after remarks and the consecration. The college then hosted a guided tour of the dormitories.

Several members of the Jarvis board of trustees, faculty, staff, students and community leaders offered remarks and commended the college and its students.

“We’re here to celebrate these young people. We’ll invest in them for the potential they have and the people they’ll become,” Will Fisher, JCC board of trustees vice chair, said. “I’m going to ask you along with the board of trustees to invest in these young people.”

Contractor Ron Matthews of Pinnacle Contracting Group said the company has made a decision to continue to invest in Jarvis.

Miss Jarvis Christian College LaTerrian Wiley expressed appreciation for the growth at the college.

“It’s a great pleasure to welcome you,” Wiley said. “As students, we’re delighted to see the growth on this great campus that we love.”

Dr. Cheryl Kariuki, Jarvis Faculty Senate chair and residence hall committee chair, thanked everyone who contributed to the planning, funding and designing of the buildings.

Kariuki added that future students and faculty owe immense gratitude to Newman.

JCC Student Government Association President DeJanae’ Tookes told guests the addition of the buildings helps people see the growth of Jarvis.

Wood County Industrial Commission Kiki Bettis thanked guests for their support and explained how the growth provides opportunity for the county.

“We are excited to have everyone together to support the completion of these new residential halls here at the college,” Bettis said. “The development of this project reflects growth of the college as well as Wood County and will impact our economy for years to come. We are so fortunate and grateful to have a college of this magnitude in our county”

Tom Parker, Hawkins mayor, congratulated Jarvis on the opportunities it gives students to move on into the real world and be successful.

A consecration was performed by Reverend Chris Dorsey, president of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries and JCC trustee.

“Jarvis feels like home to me,” Dorsey said. “I’m always happy and eager to join you all.”

Reverend Torry L. Edwards, Jarvis board of trustees chair and Terrell city manager, said he was extremely happy to see a building of that size and thanked Newman and Jarvis’ support of Christian education.

Darnell Whitney, Jarvis Christian College trustee called it a joyous occasion to open these new buildings.

JJC choir performed throughout the grand opening. Vice President of Student Services Dr. Tessie Bradford presided over the ceremony.

Tyler’s First Christian Church senior pastor Dr. Chris Pulliam, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Glenell M. Lee-Pruitt and Tyler’s St. Louis Baptist Church senior pastor Reverend Ralph Caraway, Sr. also spoke at the grand opening.

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