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Columbia Theological Seminary begins construction of Vernon S. Broyles, Jr., Leadership Center



Decatur, GA. Site preparation is underway for Columbia Theological Seminary’s new Vernon S. Broyles, Jr., Leadership Center. The seminary community gathered with trustees, donors, architects and contractors on February 2 for a ground blessing at the construction site. The $11.6 million project is expected to be completed by January 30, 2012.

The 30,000 square foot facility honors the memory of Vernon S. Broyles,Jr., a long-time friend of the seminary, pastor for many years at North Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta, where he was also a prominent civic leader and advocate for social justice. The project will incorporate the 80-year-old Simons-Law building, formerly a residence hall, which will be recycled and renovated for small classroom space, faculty offices, study areas, the seminary bookstore, educational technology center. A tower will be constructed and will serve as the main entrance to the leadership center. Flooring for the tower will be milled from a mature oak now standing next to Simons-Law.

New construction includes two classroom wings. One will include three 75-seat classrooms which will have a mix of fixed and flexible seating and will be equipped with the latest educational technology. The second wing will have two 40-seat classrooms.

The design will create a cloistered courtyard with an arcade connecting to Simons-Law’s historic arch and providing a covered walkway from the center of campus to the outside perimeter of the building.

Designed by Lord Aeck Sargent architects, the leadership center is expected to earn LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. The firm also designed a student residential hall for Columbia. That facility, opened two years ago, is the first in Decatur, GA, to earn LEED gold certification.   

New South Construction, which served as general contractor for the student residence hall, has been engaged for the new leadership center. The project manager is Morgan Constructors.

Project description

Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, GA, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The seminary offers seven graduate degree programs: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), Master of Arts in Practical Theology, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, Doctor of Educational Ministry, and Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Counseling. Currently 421 students are enrolled, representing 30 denominations, 34 states, and 11 countries.

Michael Thompson
Director of Communications

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