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Divine Design

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn., recently completed a new, high-tech campus building to meet its needs after years of sharing space and retrofitted facilities. The 130,000-square-foot (12,077-m2) main building includes a 1,000-seat auditorium, 13 classrooms, eight lecture and seminar halls, a dining hall and a full-service bookstore open to the public.

The mansard-style roof features approximately 34,000 square feet (3,159 m2) of 18-inch (457-mm) Snap-Clad panels in Dark Bronze by Petersen Aluminum Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill. Additionally, 26,000 square feet (2,415 m2) of the material in Bone White was used for the custom fascia and cornices.

"The building is a college campus but with all facilities under one roof," said Howard Glatstein, principal-in-charge from Fisher & Arnold Inc., Memphis, the architect. "The design had to blend with the architecture of the across-the-street Bellevue Baptist Church because the church had donated 35 acres [14 hectares] to Mid-America for the project. We wanted a sturdy, classy, traditional feel that would give the building a sense of permanence and strength. From the beginning, metal was the roof material of choice because of its classic look, low maintenance and longevity. Any other roofi ng material, such as asphalt or fi berglass shingles, would have been very weak looking."

The seminary provides graduate theological training for effective service in church-related and missions vocations, attempting to guide students in a thorough understanding of the Bible and its relevance for today. The seminary offers eight degree programs and a certificate program at its northeast branch.


Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, Memphis, Tenn.

Architect: Fisher & Arnold Inc., Memphis

General contractor: Linkous Construction Co., Memphis

Installer: Ralph Jones Sheet Metal Inc., Memphis

Metal roofing: Petersen Aluminum Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill.