McKee Library Renovation Enhances Study Spaces



Southern Adventist University’s McKee Library was recently renovated to update the entryway and increase useable space throughout the facility. The improvements include an enclosed front entrance, a windowed reading room on the second floor, and a remodeled third floor with new spaces for the Tutoring Center, the Writing Center, the Center for the Study of 19th Century America, and an additional classroom.

“This dramatically improved the physical presence of the McKee Library, which is a legacy building for the university,” says Marty Hamilton, associate vice president for Financial Administration. “Students are very active in these spaces, and the addition really reflects the appropriate modernization of the library.”

Fred Turner, Southern’s corporate architect, shares that he wanted to transform the building to fit today’s modern campus while capturing the classical feel associated with the university and its grounds.

“It’s a beautiful structure. I enjoy all the windows at the front, where you can look out at the trees,” says Jack McKee, attended, whose family was instrumental in supporting the renovation and original effort to build the facility in 1970.

“The renovations are beautiful, especially the reading room. I would love to hang out in there where it’s nice and quiet,” says Chris McKee, ’88. “There are so many distractions bombarding us constantly, and it’s really nice that the students have a quiet place like that to reflect and read.”

“I love how the design allows sunlight to not only enter the new vestibule and the upstairs study room but also continue through another glass wall to illuminate the entire open space within the library,” shares Rusty McKee, ’87. “The cool thing is that Adventists, more than most, recognize the sun as a beautiful reminder of Jesus’ fourth day of creation and the nearing Sabbath when we have unrushed, quality time with Him, our Creator Savior."

Deyse Bravo, director of McKee Library, shares that the library’s mission is to equip leaders and learners through instruction, resources, and spaces for lifelong academic and professional growth. “Our library has undergone a remarkable transformation, aligning perfectly with our mission,” she says. “The new spaces provide an environment that fosters learning, creativity, and exploration, with enhanced services that are tailored to meet the diverse needs of our students and faculty.”

A dedication ceremony attended by the McKee family and key university employees involved with the project was held earlier this year to celebrate the project’s completion. The renovations are part of the Campaign for Excellence in Faith and Learning, a fundraising effort that included construction of the Bietz Center for Student Life and increased endowments for scholarships and research, among other undertakings.

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