Berea College Launches $10 Million Campaign to Build Two Future-Focused Tech Buildings

Berea College today announced the launch of a capital campaign to construct two future-focused buildings that, when complete, will harness the power of computer science, digital media and information technology, and applied engineering and design (including sculpture and ceramics) to prepare the next generation of technology thinkers, makers and innovators.

An artist rendering of the first of two tech buildings to be built on the Berea College campus

An artist rendering of one of two tech buildings to be built on the Berea College campus.

Through the construction of these two buildings, the $10 million campaign will seek to prepare traditionally underserved students to be workforce-ready graduates. Once equipped, these graduates will have the opportunity to improve the economic prosperity of each community they enter, as well as enhance quality of life for themselves, their families and their communities. Although graduates move to careers and graduate school across the country (and world), the majority do remain in Kentucky and Appalachia, and they will have an impact on local and regional economies.

Berea College’s Danforth Technology Building was constructed in 1958 as the hub for the College’s technology and design offerings. The Danforth building has been outpaced by rapid innovation, and it no longer meets the needs of a fast-paced, modern technology curriculum.  The building also houses the Computer Science program that grew from a minor to Berea’s top major in only a decade.

The new building project, which will be approached in two phases, will make room for innovation through cutting-edge laboratories and studios, flexible classrooms, areas for interdisciplinary exploration and community-oriented gathering spaces, all while maintaining a commitment to sustainability.

President Lyle Roelofs expressed his enthusiasm for the project noting that technology applications have always been key to the quality of life for Berea students and graduates.

“Traditional Appalachian lifestyles have always deployed impressive mastery of available technology, so students arrive at Berea with a strong foundation.  It is no surprise that many, given the right opportunities, emerge to become leaders in technological innovation, and, importantly, that they bring with their creativity, a strong sense of ethical sustainability.”

Phase 1 of construction will bring Computer Science, Digital Media, and Information Systems and Services (IS&S) together in a new home on the campus quad. The Phase 1 building will feature computing laboratories, an innovative maker space, flexible classrooms and new spaces for digital-media endeavors such as a sound stage and on-air studio. This building is projected to open in 2023.

Learning and labor experiences will integrate synergistically in the new building, where students pursuing the Computer Science major will apply their course-based learning to real world applications through Labor experiences in IS&S. Program faculty will also interact with Berea’s IT professionals. The building in which all these connections occur will boast tiered help desks, an equipment lending library and dedicated workspaces for campus networking and the multimedia event team.

Phase 2 will bring Engineering Technologies and Applied Design (ETAD), Ceramics and Sculpture under one roof. Such synergies can augment the design of both creative and functional three-dimensional projects students are eager to develop, test and refine.

Collaboration will also be supported through the inclusion of open and flexible gathering spaces. The building will incorporate the latest trends in applied engineering and advanced manufacturing, and it will house the latest equipment that graduates will use beyond Berea.

More information on the campaign, including artist renderings of the buildings, can be found at

Categories: News
Tags: Engineering Technologies and Applied Design Department, information technology, tech campaign, technology

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.