Regents approve construction of Elliston Chapel, renovation of North Russell Hall

May 1, 2014

At their regular February meeting, Baylor University’s Board of Regents approved $1.7 million for the design and construction of the Elliston Chapel, a 3,000-square-foot chapel that will accommodate small group Bible study, group worship and individual reflection. Funded with a lead gift from Molli, BA ‘75, and Baylor Regent Gary Elliston of Dallas, the 100-seat chapel will be built next to Hallie Earle Hall on the East Village property at Third Street and Bagby Avenue. Construction on Elliston Chapel is expected to begin this spring and be completed by spring 2015.

“We are truly grateful to Molli and Gary Elliston for this generous gift to the University,” said Richard S Willis, BBA ‘81, MBA ‘82, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. “Molli and Gary believe that the pursuit of truth and calling is at the heart of the Baylor student experience. With this gift, the Ellistons have made possible the creation of a sacred space on our campus that will provide the opportunity for worship and reflection and empower our students as they become agents of transformation, advancing God’s kingdom in all that they do.”

In other news, the board also appropriated $16 million to refurbish North Russell Hall, part of the University’s master plan to renovate existing residence halls over the next decade. The North Russell refurbishment will include updated rooms with new furniture and fixtures; new study and social spaces; the addition of a living-learning component to the complex with a faculty-in-residence apartment; and new mechanical,
electrical and plumbing systems. South Russell Hall, which is currently under refurbishment, will be reopened this fall. Work on North Russell will begin this summer.

In addition, President Starr informed the board that the University plans to install a memorial plaque on the Umphrey Pedestrian Bridge at McLane Stadium to commemorate the life of Jose Dario Suarez, the construction worker who died Jan. 28 in a tragic accident while working on the bridge. “In this small way, we remember and honor as a community the life of Mr. Suarez, his sacrifice and his contributions to the stadium project,” President Starr said. “The Baylor family continues to keep Mr. Suarez’s family, his co-workers and all those whom he loved in our deepest prayers.”

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