Snead State Community College: Honoring the Past While Planning for the Future
Snead State Community College has been educating students in the small town of Boaz, Alabama, since 1898. To celebrate its history and prepare for its future, the college recently completed a $7 million renovation project of the Administration Building. Originally designed by Magaziner, Eberhard & Harris of Philadelphia beginning in 1921, the neoclassical style building is the oldest, most architecturally significant, and most cherished building on campus.
After being forced to vacate due to safety concerns, services once offered in the building were relocated. Working from the campus master plan, architects, contractors, and builders restored the once stately show-piece with modern conveniences and technologies while maintaining its historical features. The renovation is the latest building upgrade to the 114 year old institution.
The north wing of the building houses the auditorium that was named for William Fielder, president of Snead Seminary from 1914 to 1931. Construction of this auditorium was particularly significant in Snead State's history. Dr. Fielder worked diligently to build closer ties with the City of Boaz and used the new venue for the benefit of the entire community. Fielder Auditorium became the place for public lectures, plays, and musical performances. That tradition continues today.
The auditorium has a 412-seat capacity and is, once again, being used as a lecture/recital hall. Wasting no time in utilizing the beautifully restored space, the Gerhart Chamber Music Festival was held in the auditorium only two days after the ribbon cutting. The space has also held student organization induction ceremonies, and hosted presentations from the college's Music Department and Community Choir.
The 29,519 square-foot Administration Building also includes nine classrooms, seven faculty offices, the president's office, and academic support offices. A catering kitchen and commons/banquet room was added to provide a gathering area for students and a place to support college events. Also included in the redesigned building is a cyber-library. The library, available to students, faculty, and the general public, is home to 73,000 eBooks, Nooks, and Kindles for lease, as well as laptop and desktop computers.
In support and recognition of the building's past, a Heritage Room was created. This climate-controlled room safeguards historical items and allows for the display of photographs, artifacts, and other college memorabilia for the enjoyment of students and the community alike.
"The future for Snead State, The Grand Old School, is certainly a bright one. And it is bright because of the giants who preceded us and on whose shoulders we stand," said Snead State president, Dr. Robert Exley. "Our founders, Rev. E.B.L. Elder and his wife Anna Elder saw a life-changing school established by the Methodist Episcopal Church named the Boaz Academy. Their stewardship and leadership is characterized by their devotion to improving the lives of others. They displayed a remarkable vision for what was coming. It is now our responsibility to see what they have seen and to go even further with achieving great things."