City of Fort Worth gives final approval for Carroll Park purchase
By SWBTS Staff
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – The Fort Worth City Council and its Housing Finance Corporation gave final approval on Aug. 22 for an $11 million purchase of the remaining 15 acres of the Carroll Park Apartments, previously used for student housing at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“I’m grateful for these actions and for the opportunity Southwestern has to partner with the City of Fort Worth to address the housing crisis in our city,” said President David S. Dockery.
“From the earliest conversations about the sale of Carroll Park, we were seeking an opportunity that could meet both the financial needs of the seminary and the future needs of our community,” he added. “Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Parker, the support of Councilwoman Beck and the rest of the council, the diligent work of seminary representatives, and the commitment of community partners, we believe the city’s plan to use the Carroll Park property to address Fort Worth’s affordable housing crisis does just that. We look forward to continuing our work with the city to finalize this sale.”
The city’s actions represent the next step in the process after the sale was announced in the spring and comes after months of seminary officials working closely with the city and other partners to finalize the details of the sale.
In her remarks to the city council Tuesday, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker thanked Dockery, seminary staffer Colby Adams, and the seminary’s board of trustees for their “patience in this project.”
Parker said affordable housing in the city “has been a topic of concern for every single council member” and expressed appreciation for seminary leadership who “recognize that rather than attacking affordable housing the traditional way we have we had to think differently about this.”
Parker said the city will be working “closely” with residents from all districts and beyond and “hope[s] to involve the private sector and philanthropy around this opportunity.”
In October 2022, Dockery told the board of trustees the seminary had received several offers for the Carroll Park property, which is not contiguous with the main campus, and has been evaluating for several years the “campus footprint and its optimal use.” While the 200-acre campus is a blessing, it also “presents significant challenges. For this institution to have a sustainable business model, we must reduce our campus footprint and the resource commitment it takes to maintain it.”
With the purchase of the property, rather than being limited to use as permanent supportive housing, the city’s new plan for this tract of land is to assign it to a community land trust to provide an opportunity to address the housing crisis in Fort Worth more broadly.
With the city’s approval, the seminary will proceed to finalize the contract for the property with the goal of closing the sale this fall. Together with the earlier sale of a five-acre portion of Carroll Park, the total purchase price for the property will be $14.225 million.
Spurgeon College students move in to new residence hall
By Brett Fredenberg/MBTS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – Spurgeon College students arrived on campus last week, moving into the recently renovated undergraduate residence hall and celebrating the completion of all central campus updates.
“I am thrilled at how the renovation of our new residence hall turned out,” said President Jason Allen. “This project has been a long time in the making, and I could not be happier for our students to move into this place. I want to congratulate and thank Mr. Jim Kragenbring and his team for all of their hard work and dedication to this project over the past few years.”
Since 1963, the residence hall has provided a home for students and a foundational place for friendships to flourish. Through extensive exterior and interior renovations, students can now enjoy additional space, new amenities, and increased opportunities for fellowship. The renovations also increased the capacity of the residence hall by nearly 40 percent.
The building is now seamlessly integrated into campus, as exterior renovations such as the architecture, pathways, and landscaping match the design and standard of the campus.
Interior renovations included all new fixtures and finishes from floor to ceiling in all bedrooms and bathrooms, new furniture throughout the building, new kitchen and common areas for studying and eating, and an outside patio.
Senior Vice President for Institutional Administration James Kragenbring said of the recently completed residence hall, “Many things make this project special. First and foremost, students are already telling us they love the renovations!
“It’s also special because it is needed. Spurgeon College has grown to such an extent that we needed to renovate the building and add space for more students. Though it was no small feat to complete this project, we are grateful to our architect (PGAV) and general contractor (Pearce Construction) for their exemplary work. We’re also grateful to the many students who were kind and understanding of construction happening around them for the ’22-’23 academic year.”
Over the past 10 years, Midwestern Seminary’s campus has prioritized campus renovations, including projects such as the Chapel Complex, the Spurgeon Library and Administration Building, the Trustee Building, the Mathena Student Center, and the Mark T. Coppenger Library.
“We desire for every project to enhance the aesthetics of our campus and enhance students’ day-to-day lives so that we have an ever more vibrant on-campus community,” Kragenbring said.
Dean of Spurgeon College Sam Bierig said, “Day one of students moving in and it was almost already at capacity! We are so encouraged by the way the residence hall turned out. It will no doubt be a space that serves students for many years to come. It is perfect for building memories and relationship that will last a lifetime.”
To see more pictures of the new residence hall at Spurgeon College, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbts/albums
For those admitted to Spurgeon College and interested in applying for campus housing, visit https://www.mbts.edu/future-students/housing/