September 25, 2013 Edition

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Williams Baptist College broke ground on Friday on the new Billie Harty Dining Room. Those who participated in the ground-breaking ceremony were (from left): Kyle Cook of Brackett-Krennerick Architects, C.L. Clark of Clark General Contractors, Earl and Joanna Goatcher of Little Rock, N.B. Harty of Dexter, Mo., Rev. Greg Addison of Cabot, WBC President Dr. Tom Jones, Kenya student David Owiti, WBC Dean of Students Susan M. Watson, Dennis Owens of Fresh Ideas, Inc., and WBC Vice President for Institutional Advancement Brett Cooper.

WBC breaks ground
on dining room

Williams Baptist College broke ground on Friday on its new Billie Harty Dining Room, which will double student seating capacity in the college's Mabee-Gwinup Cafeteria.

"The Billy Harty Dining Room will provide much needed space for a growing number of resident students, and it will also significantly improve the overall student dining experience at Williams," said WBC President Dr. Tom Jones.

The new dining area is being added on the southwest side of the cafeteria, where it will adjoin the existing Sulcer Dining Room. The expansion will also include extensive renovation of the existing kitchen and serving area.

"Williams students and the rest of us who enjoy the cafeteria will find this a much more comfortable setting," said Jones. "It will give us modern and streamlined food service, as well."

The room is named for Billie Harty, the late wife of N.B. Harty of Dexter, Mo. A gift from Harty is funding nearly half of the cafeteria project.

"One of the most rewarding aspects of this project has been working with Mr. Harty. He contacted us to ask if he could support a cafeteria project and it was clear the Lord was leading him to do so," said Jones.

"We thought it entirely appropriate to name the dining room in memory of the late Billie Harty, a dear lady who passed away earlier this year."

WBC Trustee Dr. Joann Goatcher and her husband, Earl, also provided a major gift toward the project.

The 2,000 square-foot addition is expected to cost $750,000, and when completed will seat about 250 people. Most of the project is already funded through gifts, and the college hopes to raise the remaining funds in coming weeks.

Construction is set to begin in October, with completion expected next spring. Brackett-Krennerich Architects of Jonesboro designed the expansion, and Clark General Contractors of Walnut Ridge is handling construction.

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