“None are as close to my heart as this library expansion,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning.
The $4.2 million expansion will create an additional 18,000 square feet of library space and feature a two-story cathedral atrium, a fireplace, soft seating and study areas. The expansion project will be completed by Marietta-based ADE Builders under the guidance of Allen Hornback and is expected to take about a year to complete. Cooper Carry of Atlanta were the architects, with Tim Fish serving as lead architect.
Shorter professor and scholar-in-residence Carmen Acevedo Butcher said Friday that between her days as a 4.0 student and now as a professor she has spent quite a bit of time at the library.
“Books and the libraries that contain them have always been valued by humans,” said Butcher before sharing with those in attendance a history of the written word, quoting, among others, Geoffrey Chaucer, Groucho Marx and the Bible.
“Even Groucho Marx said a book is man’s best friend. Well, what he actually said was, ‘Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read,’” said Butcher.
Shorter Board of Trustees Chairman Nelson Price thanked the donors on behalf of the board and acknowledged the value of investing in the library.
“Jesus Christ said, ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ We’re here now on a piece of real estate that will be used to that end,” said Price.
The project is being funded with the financial support of several key foundations. The project’s campaign effort was spearheaded by several Shorter alumni including Charles and Lee Hight, Bill and Betty Zane Morris, Nancy Bryan and Jerry and Janice Vick.