On February 10, 2020, Providence celebrated the Grand Opening of Muriel Taylor Hall with a special ribbon cutting ceremony. The Honorable Ralph Eichler, Minister for Economic Development and Training, and MLAs Andrew Smith and Dennis Smook were on hand to help mark the occasion. They were joined by Dr. David Johnson, Providence’s President who dedicated the new building, and student Emily Wiebe who shared a few words. The event was also attended by our contracting team from Pico Architecture, Grant Design Group and Three Way Builders.
Muriel Taylor Hall, named after one of the first professors of Biblical Studies at Providence, is a three-storey, 22,500 sq. ft. student residence that fulfills our vision for an on-campus living and learning hub not only offering dormitories on the second and third floors, but modern facilities for classroom use and meetings on the first floor.
Emily Wiebe, who is completing a BA in English and Psychology, shared, “Muriel Taylor Hall is beautiful. And at every turn, I’m aware of the careful attention that was given to the planning and building of this new residence. I, along with many other students, will enjoy this building. I feel very grateful for all the hard work and time that was dedicated to students’ comfort.”
This $7.5 million project was designed with floor to ceiling windows to allow natural light to flood into every corner. It was planned with Providence students in mind. There are designated quiet spots for students to study and pray, and a large open-concept space for students to hang out around a fireplace, cook/eat together in a contemporary kitchen, watch movies on flat screen TVs and play some ping pong.
“Our new residence is designed to support the mission of Providence through facilitating student learning, faith development and community building. Our students are now enjoying a residence that is modern, comfortable and allows them to connect with other students and faculty/staff in a variety of ways,” said Marlin Reimer, Providence’s Associate Vice-President for Student Life.
Bergen Hall, our men’s residence, burned down in June 2017 which necessitated the building of a new residence. So, the project was funded through insurance money as well as financial support raised through our Impact 2020 campaign.
This building is in addition to a number of renovating projects tackled in the last five years including new classrooms for the Buller School of Business, a state-of-the-art science lab, a Welcome Centre for students, new fitness centre, a beautiful school courtyard and improved Internet capacities with fiber optics installed and new wireless access points on campus.
“Our goal is to be a great student-centred university. We designed Muriel Taylor Hall to serve students above all else. We are serious about being a Christian academic community, with an emphasis on community,” remarked Dr. David Johnson, Providence’s President. “We are also concerned with student mental and emotional health, hence all the natural light in this building and lots of group space for students to interact.”
Providence is working strategically to position itself among the top Christian universities in Canada, offering accredited university and seminary programs with flexible learning environments. At the start of a new decade, we’re poised, even stronger than before, to continue to fulfill our nearly-a-century-old mission statement which is to teach students to grow in knowledge and character for leadership and service.
Wiebe, who hopes to become an elementary school teacher, believes she can bring the light of Jesus to a school system that can sometimes be lonely and heartbreaking for students. She explained that Providence has taught her that, “At Providence, I matter as a person, not a statistic.”
“The faculty at Providence cares for their students’ well-being. This is apparent in the way that they make conversations with students in-between classes. They build a relationship based in care and personal connection,” shared Wiebe. “I warn you all about the contagious quality that compassion has on a community. I believe that some of the students have caught the case of caring-for-others too.”