(Walnut Ridge, Ark.) – A $500,000 gift to Williams Baptist College is kicking off a fundraising effort for a new men’s residence hall. Williams announced the gift from the Jim Tom Butler family of Harrisburg on Friday.

The 43-bed facility will be built next to WBC’s Butler Hall, an existing residence facility made possible by a gift from the Butler family in 2008.

“The Butler family has a long history of making progress possible at Williams Baptist College,” said Dr. Tom Jones, WBC’s president. “With male student housing nearing capacity, this project will allow us to serve a growing student body and meet their residential needs with very comfortable accommodations. This generous gift from these long-time friends moves us closer to making the facility a reality.”

The new residence hall will be a two-story structure with just over 9,800 square feet of floor space. WBC estimates the total cost of the project at $2 million. Jones said the college hopes to begin construction this spring, with completion expected by early 2016.

“Our family has been involved with this college for more than 50 years, and it is a wonderful institution,” said Butler. “Ultimately, God is the one providing this gift, and our family is simply blessed to be the means by which the Lord is meeting this need at WBC.”

Butler is on WBC’s Board of Trustees, and the announcement was made during the college’s regularly scheduled board meeting on Friday.

Williams is a 4-year, liberal arts college, offering degrees in 25 different subject areas. The school has an enrollment of over 500 students on its main campus at Walnut Ridge, with nearly 400 living in WBC’s residence halls and apartments.