NASHVILLE, TN — American Baptist College began a new phase on June 15, 2021 with a ground breaking ceremony for an extension of the Susie McClure library on the campus.  “The extension allows the facility to have a fully state of the art elevator and other amenities,” said Dr. Forrest E. Harris, Sr. president of the college.

Built in 1954, this stately building on the historic campus was not required to have handicap accessibility features at that time. “The McClure Library will be accessible to those who have mobility challenges as they visit and tour the library with ease, comfort and safety,” said Richard Jackson, executive vice president.

The plan to improve the facility has been in the works for years and is coming to fruition. It will also include improving the lighting to reduce strain for students and others because of insufficient lighting.

R.C. Matthews Company will have oversight responsibilities for the project. Walker Matthews, chairman and CEO of the company and grandson of the founder, explained, “This project is important to the college and city of Nashville because of the significance of American Baptist College to this city.”

Another upgrade, identified through COVID-19, is the need to improve the HVAC system. This will allow the reduction of airborne viruses and bacteria, which will limit the possibility of germs through the system.

This library is named after Dr. Susie McClure, a great woman in the Baptist Church and a strong supporter of American Baptist College. McClure is 105 years young.

Dr. Gracie Porter, a longtime family friend of Dr. McClure, said, “It is an honor to represent the family on this occasion and I know Dr. McClure is proud of this extension. This work continues her legacy.”

This project is scheduled to be completed in early 2022, and will be more accessible to students and community citizens for research and studying. The total square footage of the addition is 1,873 and will be a proud source for the college with an elevator, more restrooms and better lighting.

“I extend heartfelt thanks to all who are working on this endeavor and my gratefulness for the students and community citizens, who will use this building, now and in the future,” said Harris.