Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

Expansion Plans

Written by Rev. Jack Schoeman
As you may know, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary has experienced rapid growth during the past several years. The growth has been so rapid that the seminary has quickly outgrown its current facilities (those of you who have visited the seminary will know how cramped it is!). Plans are underway to construct a new building in the same vicinity. I asked the president of the seminary, Dr. Joel Beeke (JB), to tell us a bit about this project and how it is going - JS.

Q. Dr. Beeke, I understand there is a campaign underway to construct a new seminary building. Could you tell us why you need a new building?

JB: In light of the increasing activity at PRTS, we have been working at the maximum capacity of our present building for some time. Everyone involved has dealt with the constrictions of space cheerfully, yet it is clear that the current building no longer adequately meets our growing needs for at least three reasons: First, with student enrollment reaching twenty, and an increasing number of courses being offered, we need a building that offers three or four classrooms rather than our present one classroom. Second, more than ten thousand of our books are in another location due to lack of space. This makes it very awkward for students to have access to them, as a secretary needs to drive to that location to get the particular book they want. Third, there is no room for office space for other instructors, or for student carrels. Fourth, our single classroom and our bookstore are housed in the same room [a converted garage! - JS], which means that for twenty hours or more each week the books are inaccessible.

Q. I understand the seminary has purchased some property for a new building. What can you tell us about that?

JB: An 8.5 acre piece of property has been purchased, providentially situated two doors east of our current building. The building will be set back 500 feet from the street, allowing for a beautiful boulevard driveway. Building plans have been drafted to show a two-floor, colonial style, 20,000-square feet structure. Classrooms, office space, and storage will be available on the first floor, and the library of nearly 40,000 books will be housed on the second floor. The building will be situated on the property to allow plenty of land for future expansions, a wooded area with walking trails, and parking.

Q. When do you expect the building to be completed?

JB: The goal is to break ground before the snow flies and have the building finished by the fall of next year, D.V.

Q. How much will this project cost?

JB: The current plans fall around $3 million dollars, 75% of which has already been received or pledged. The remaining amount, humanly speaking, will be the most difficult to raise. Any donation for this cause is greatly appreciated.

Q. Where can people send a donation?

JB: Donations from inside the US or overseas should be sent to Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (earmarked PRTS Building Fund), 2919 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. Donations from Canada should be sent to Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, c/o Peter Koppert, 69 Spring St., P.O. Box 853, Norwich, Ontario N0J 1P0. We are grateful to report that an anonymous friend has committed $1,000,000 as a matching gift donation. This means that the donor will match whatever gifts are received up to $1,000,000. Thus, if you were to give $50, for example, our donor would match your gift with another $50. Please prayerfully consider helping the seminary expand at this critical time in our development, without negatively impacting your local church giving. Above all, we covet your prayers.

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