College adding dormitory

A Baptist college housed at a historic elementary school is expanding.

Heritage Baptist College, in the former Hopewell Elementary School west of Franklin, plans to add a dormitory.

The building would house 24 students, 12 on each floor, and would have restrooms and space for a laundry room, according to the proposal, said Allen Kirk, Johnson County planning engineer.

The college needs the dormitory because of growth, college President Russell Dennis Jr. said.

The college bought the building in 2010, did some minor work, including painting, and was able to move in soon after because the building was in good shape, Dennis said.

The dorm would be the first building the college has constructed, and officials hope to build more as needed, he said.

Along with the former school, the property has more than 12 acres of land for expansion, Dennis said.

The new dorm would fit four students to a room and have a floor for women and a floor for men, he said.

Having a dorm allows the college to offer living space for younger students, he said.

The college, which had 37 students enrolled last semester, is mainly focused on ministry but also offers classes to women focused on ministry for teaching a Christian-based education, Dennis said.

The college would need building permits approved before construction can start, Dennis said.

County officials had a preliminary meeting about the project this month. The property’s zoning allows for a dormitory, so the approvals needed would focus on plans for the building and where it will be located on the property, Kirk said.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.