First Baptist Academy continues to build and grow its academic and athletic campus in East Dallas. On Tuesday, January 16, more than 100 area notables, school families, donors, faculty, staff, and alumni gathered in the early evening for the ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration of the brand new 25,000-square-foot academic center located at 7898 Samuell Boulevard, Dallas. Before the scissors snipped the ribbon, attendees heard about what made this new building possible.
The ceremony began with a welcome and prayer by First Baptist Academy Head of School, Jason Lovvorn. In his remarks, Lovvorn recognized the generosity of FBA’s many donors for making the new campus a reality, especially Orville Rogers, Jim and Geneva Donald, and Andy Horner.
Lovvorn next introduced dignitaries in attendance, including Texas House Representative Eric Johnson (District 100), Texas Senator Don Huffines (District 16), and Dallas City Council Members Kevin Felder (District 7) and Rickey Callahan (District 5). Representative Johnson congratulated FBA on its accomplishment and read a resolution from the Texas House, then presented the school with a flag flown over the Texas State Capitol to fly on its new flagpole. Senator Huffines spoke of FBA’s strong legacy in Dallas and presented FBA with a resolution from the Texas Senate.
Following these special guests, Ty Sawyer, chair of the Facilities Committee that began work on the vision for this project four years ago, thanked and introduced key participants in the project: Facilities Committee members Corey Admire, Louis Cole, Linda Gee, Tyler Hill, Jason Lovvorn, Christa Sanford, and Gary Young; Owner Representative Jerry Halcomb; FBA’s Board of Trustees; Taurus Construction president Daryl Bowen and project manager Tim Goodsell; and Wright Group Architects Terry Wright and Dennis Brown. He also extended his heartfelt thanks to Capital Campaign Chairs Mark and Patty Lovvorn and Bill and Melanie Rogers as well as the members of that committee, Providence Bank, and the FBA administration, faculty, and staff.
Next, Capital Campaign Co-Chair Mark Lovvorn added his gratitude to all donors and shared that this beautiful new school was made possible because of the overwhelming support of the school’s three lead donors, Orville Rogers, Jim and Geneva Donald, and Andy Horner. He detailed the history of each of the three generous donors’ support of First Baptist Academy and the cause of Christian education in general.
First Baptist Church Executive Pastor and FBA Alum Ben Lovvorn added his thanks to all involved in the project and explained how much FBA has meant to his family for generations. He led the group in a prayer to thank God for His hand in guiding the project and for continued blessings on the school.
Head of School Lovvorn was then joined by the Donald Family, Orville Rogers and many donors and guests for the official ribbon cutting. Afterwards, the doors to the academic center were opened for tours.
Ribbon-cutting ceremony attendees included Orville Rogers; Jim, Geneva and Jennifer Donald; Mark and Patty Lovvorn; Bill and Melanie Rogers; Facilities Committee members Corey Admire, Louis Cole, Linda Gee, Tyler Hill, Jason Lovvorn, Christa Sanford, Ty Sawyer, and Gary Young; FBA Owner Representative for the project, Jerry Halcomb; Board of Trustees members Richard Brown, Pam Greene, Luann Gutierrez, Neely Munnerlyn, Bob Osburn, and Ellen Wolfe; Taurus Construction owner Daryl Bowen and project manager Tim Goodsell; Wright Group Architects Terry Wright and Dennis Brown; Lynn and Meredith Black; Steve and Tessie Sawyer; FBA administrators, faculty, and staff; and current and alumni parents.
First Baptist Academy’s new campus academic building was designed and constructed by Wright Group Architects and general contractor Taurus Construction. The building offers students collaborative workspaces throughout with movable desks and common areas that allow spaces to be instantly configured to meet the needs of students, faculty and families. Smart technology throughout the campus is able to broadcast updates and information, and can be connected to individual laptops to allow students to collaborate on group projects.
For the 240 students attending First Baptist Academy, the new academic center means 21 state of the art classrooms with collaborative workspaces and upgraded technology. FBA has already begun work on the second phase of the project, which includes new baseball and softball fields that are scheduled to be complete in Spring 2018.