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Lancaster Bible College opens new academic center today

A new academic center opened this morning at Lancaster Bible College in Manheim Township.

The Charles Frey Academic Center is giving six academic departments a major technology upgrade with features such as smart-board projectors, a wall-length stock ticker for business majors and a production studio.

The four-story building will house bible and theology; church and ministry leadership; education; counseling and social work; health and physics; and business administration and communications, both within the arts and science department.

Students majoring in those six departments will attend classes in other buildings on campus as well, but the new building addresses the need for new technology.

The fourth floor of the building remains empty for now, as it was built in preparation for future growth, according to Philip Dearborn, provost of Lancaster Bible College.

The building that previously housed the six departments was built in the 1960s, and is a gym converted into offices.

“The new facility matches the quality of the people we have teaching here,” Dearborn said.

The $12.9 million center opened to faculty today, and classes will start on Wednesday.

Technology boost

Business administration is the school’s fastest-growing major, with 88 students enrolled since it started two years ago.

The 11 classrooms in the academic center are customized for the different majors, and four are what Dearborn called collaborative classrooms.

Collaborative classrooms are new for the school, but they are popular in education, according to Dearborn.

They are set up so that students sit in groups, and are designed for more engagement instead of a professor lecturing and students taking notes.

Bible college background

The 49,000-square-foot center is named after Charles Frey, one of three brothers who took over Turkey Hill Dairy after their father, Armor Frey, sold it in 1947.

Frey provided a lead gift for construction. The college declined to disclose the size of the gift.

In honor of Frey, the building will feature a Charlie’s Creamery on the first floor. It will serve Turkey Hill products, and serve as a social space for students.

The Charles Frey Academic Center sits at what Dearborn described as the geographic center of campus.

Construction on the center started in December 2014. Manheim Township-based Horst Construction was the general contractor while Manheim Township-based Haller Enterprises handled the electrical work.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held March 31.

The second largest bible college in the country, Lancaster Bible College currently has just under 2,000 students at seven locations in six states.

Lancaster Bible College also has campuses in Philadelphia, Greenbelt, Md., Springfield Va., Indianapolis, Memphis, Tenn., and Boca Raton, Fla.

Its Lancaster campus is the largest.

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