CCBS approves relocation of KCBI
to east Dallas Criswell College site
DALLAS?When The Criswell College (TCC) moved east of downtown Dallas in 1991 to the renovated facilities of the former Gaston Avenue Baptist Church campus, the Criswell communications division, including KCBI-FM, already had moved to a retail Arlington site a few years earlier.
KCBI-FM continued round-the-clock broadcasts of Christian programming in Arlington while TCC moved into facilities that provided more space for classrooms, a library, faculty and staff offices and its own 1,700-seat auditorium for chapel.
The school and the station now have expanded ministries, and plans for building expansions have naturally followed. TCC needs space for student housing while the communications division needs more room for reception, administration, studio and volunteer workers.
At their June 4 meeting, trustees of The Criswell Center for Biblical Studies (CCBS)?which encompasses both the school and the station?advanced an idea that provides both divisions adequate space at a lower cost that earlier plans anticipated.
The board approved in principle the relocation of Criswell Communications and KCBI to the Gaston Avenue location, authorizing administration to secure revised building and financing plans for a seven-story building located across from the school that was purchased last year to provide dormitory space for students. The sale of property in Arlington used by the communications division will be investigated, trustees said.
The board’s decision is consistent with earlier commitments not to sell KCBI or separate it from CCBS, directing administration to achieve greater integration of the college and the communications division.
Using two full floors of the 4005 Gaston Avenue site for communications will provide approximately 20,000 square feet of usable space, which amounts to 4,000 square feet over existing facilities. Furthermore, the communications division will have access to a new cafeteria and coffee shop and existing auditorium, gymnasium, conference rooms, classrooms and broadcast studio.
CCBS President Jerry Johnson told trustees he anticipates “greater integration and coordination of both divisions” with the station relocated nearby. “With the present arrangement, we have one family in two houses,” Johnson added. “We need to bring the family together.”
While the inclusion of the radio station into the Gaston Avenue project will raise the total construction cost for that site, the increase would be less than the total estimated cost of separate projects at both locations. Great efficiency and savings is expected as staff positions and service contracts are combined in the areas of utilities, custodial, security and human relations.
“As the Criswell Center for Biblical Studies seeks to evangelize the lost, and to raise up a generation of spiritual and cultural warriors, we have the message and the megaphone to be ‘salt and light’ to this generation,” Johnson said. “To have maximum kingdom impact, it is imperative that we coordinate the work of The Criswell College and KCBI in this tangible way,” he said, calling it an “open and unique door of opportunity.”