University of Pennsylvania broke ground today for a new $30-million academic
building to house seven departments in the College of Humanities and Social
The building will be located next to Stapleton
Library, on the lawn that now exists between Clark and Sutton halls. It will house the departments of English,
journalism, political science, history, philosophy, religious studies and
geography and regional planning.
IUP President Dr. Michael Driscoll noted during the
ceremony that the new facility will help students to engage in open-ended
scholarship and hands-on learning experiences.
“This new building is at the right time and right
place,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said. “Its technological capabilities
and open spaces for informal collaboration are a perfect match for our
The ceremony also included remarks from Dr. Timothy
Moerland, IUP provost and vice president for academic affairs; Susan Delaney,
Council of Trustees chairperson; state Rep. David Reed, a 2000 graduate of IUP
and a member of the IUP Alumni Association Board of Directors; Josh Acosta, a
biology/pre-med major from Seward who serves as president of the Student
Philanthropy Council; Dr. Yaw Asamoah, dean of the College of Humanities and
Social Sciences; and Dr. Stuart Chandler, professor of religious studies and
director of IUP’s Asian studies program.
Acosta, who is president of the Senior Class Gift
Committee, announced during the groundbreaking event that more than $5,000 has
been donated as the Senior Class Gift, and the funds have been designated for
the new building’s lobby space and furnishings.
dean, I think of my college as the heart and soul of the university’s academic
experience,” Asamoah said. “Every student, regardless of major, passes through
our classrooms. I am grateful to be able to bring our faculty and students
closer together and to have the learning space we need to do the very best we
can to provide the foundation to the undergraduate education experience.”
addition to 31 classrooms (supporting 1,835 seats) and 120 offices, the
126,505-square-foot building will include a 250-seat auditorium, a great hall,
an atrium and coffee shop, eight conference rooms, two collaborative
classrooms, a public artifacts room, specialty classrooms and labs, and a
rooftop plaza for academic and social space, including meteorological
experimentation by the geography and regional planning department.
the specific plans for the building include a media room for the English
department’s film studies track; three lab settings for the journalism department,
including an open lab, a teaching lab and a lab for the Digital
Media Institute; a public history artifact room, especially designed for Master
of Arts in history students; and a regional planning studio that reflects IUP’s
geography and regional planning department’s specialized accreditation. IUP’s program joins only 13 other
undergraduate programs in the United States in having this national
The basic construction of the building
will be funded by Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services. It will take
approximately 25 months to complete.
Currently, the departments that will
move to the new building are in McElhaney, Keith, Leonard, Davis and Sutton
halls. The new building, once complete, will replace the classrooms and offices
of those departments currently in Keith and Leonard halls. Keith and Leonard will
be razed as part of the university’s long-range campus master plan to make
space for a new science building and
maintain a safe construction area, the footprint of the building, between Clark
and Sutton halls and facing Grant Street, will be fenced starting Nov. 4.
fencing will mean that access to Sutton Hall will be from the Oak Grove and
East Porch entrances only, as Grant Street will be closed from 11th Street to
Pratt Drive. A portion of the Clark Hall parking lot will be closed, as will
South Drive from 11th Street to the Sutton circle. Several handicapped parking
spots will be located in the Sutton circle on a temporary basis.
Drive will be open to two-way traffic from Pratt Drive to the circle, and deliveries
to Sutton Hall will be routed to the Oak Grove entrance. Reserved parking and the
handicapped parking along South Drive has been moved to the parking
signs have been placed around campus to help pedestrians and drivers get to
their destinations. Those coming from the south and west sides of campus,
including from the parking garage, will be routed past the library to the
sidewalk between the IUP Libraries and Fisher Auditorium to get to Sutton Hall
and buildings in and around the Oak Grove and on the north side of campus.
Updates and changes to parking, traffic, and construction will be posted on the Engineering and Construction news feed.
Watch the progress on a live web cam and find out more about the project.
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