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Columbia International University will dedicate the renovated G. Allen Fleece Library with a special ceremony on Jan. 24 at 11:30 a.m.
A devastating electrical fire on May 8, 2010 caused over $2.5 million in damages, mostly to the interior of the library, prompting CIU officials to not only make repairs, but to also make $1.3 million in renovations.
Improvements to the library include glass-enclosed rooms that encourage collaborative study, the latest high-tech connectivity, new furniture, a copier alcove, and a coffee nook that features a coffee maker that grinds the coffee beans. The renovated library opened to students on Jan. 17. Students had been using a temporary library housed in a small, steel-framed building.
The library is named for G. Allen Fleece, the second president of CIU who oversaw CIU’s move from downtown Columbia to its present site on 400 acres on Monticello Road. Two of Fleece’s children, David Fleece and Ann Fleece Calhoun will speak at the dedication. Also in attendance will be The CIU Board of Trustees, donors who made the renovations possible, contractors who worked on the library, a group of Columbia area women who regularly pray for CIU and local CIU alumni.
Library Director Jo Ann Rhodes says a lot of planning went into the library improvements.
“We worked very hard to plan the new layout of the library to make it something that is beneficial to the students,” Rhodes said. “I think about how good God has been to us to bring us to this place.”
The dedication will be preceded by a chapel service at 10:50 a.m. featuring Dr. David Calhoun, the son-in-law of G. Allen Fleece. Calhoun is professor emeritus of church history at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, and an alumnus of CIU.
The public is invited to attend the chapel service and the dedication. CIU is located at 7435 Monticello Road, two miles north of I-20.