BJU raised about $166,000 during Bible Conference for its Dining Common project, according to an announcement made during the school’s chapel meeting today.
That figure represents a disappointment for the Administration, whose plans for a $6 million-dollar renovation of the cafeteria have stalled over the last several years. John Matthews, University CFO, told the Collegian before this year’s Bible Conference that an offering of $250,000-$300,000 would be “a good goal”. Last year’s offering was about $190,000, though the goal was $300,000.
The Dining Common renovation has proved a difficult fundraising project. The BJU web page on the project has reflected a gradual lowering of expectations since 2010, a span of time which in itself hints at a troubled process.
The page changed from a $4-5 million estimate in 2010 to $6 million in 2011. No estimate is now given online, though the $6 million figure still seems to have currency. According to the Collegian, the new Dining Common was originally slated for a Fall 2011 opening. Eighteen months later, roughly half the funds have come in. Features of the renovated building have also been removed from the plan in the last few months, presumably in response to the ballooning cost.
BJU faces a decision as to whether or not continuing the Bible Conference offerings for the Dining Common is a viable option. If the offering numbers continue to decline or stay static, the Dining Common would take many years to complete (barring some enormous, unlooked-for gift).