Bethany College celebrated the $2.5 million renovation of Alma Swensson Hall with a ribbon cutting ceremony, August 6, 2018. Crossland Construction, recognized as one of the top construction firms in the nation, provided project management. The residence hall remodel was made possible by a gift from the David J. Nutt Trust, the largest single gift in the history of college.
“We took an initial tour of Alma Swensson Hall and saw it in its current disrepair,” said Matt Cortez, Vice President of GLMV Architecture and lead architect on the project. “We envisioned what it could be in the future for Bethany College and the students who will live in the facility. Alma Swensson Hall has good bones. We just invigorated it and gave it new life.”
The current design is suite-style rooms with a bathroom for each suite. An ADA compliant elevator is available, making the building accessible for everyone on the campus community. HVAC was added and all electrical wiring was replaced and new plumbing installed.
“It is great to be a Bethany Swede!” said President Will Jones. “Over the last academic year we have welcomed the largest freshman class in the history of the college, received the largest single gift in the history of the college, and closed on a loan from the USDA to purchase New Hall and refinance our existing debt. The Swedes to Sweden program was announced in December. In addition, a stronger annual operating budget allowed the college to improve classroom and athletic facilities and add additional laboratory equipment. Bethany secured funding to replace or repair more than a dozen roofs across campus. The renovation of Alma Swensson Hall is another win for Bethany students, faculty, staff, and alumni.”
Alma Swensson Hall opened in 1949 with a construction cost of $267,835. The Women’s Missionary Society of the Augustana Lutheran Church gave the original seed money for the residence hall in honor of Alma Swensson, wife of Dr. Carl A. Swensson, the founder of Bethany College. Alma established the first Messiah Chorus for the college and this year the Bethany Oratorio Society will celebrate the 137thpresentation of Messiah, the longest-running annual performance in North America.
There will be an official open house at Homecoming Weekend, October 12-14, 2018.