| The new home for the Information Resource Management Computer Center is under construction at FAU Boca Raton.
Despite the current budget crunch, many needed new facilities are taking shape on FAU’s campuses, thanks to the University’s success in obtaining PECO allocations from the Legislature and some generous gifts from private donors, which greatly increase in value when matching state dollars are added to them. PECO (Public Education Capital Outlay) grants come from a trust fund established specifically to add to and upgrade physical facilities at Florida’s state universities and other public educational institutions.
At FAU, 15 major construction projects and more than 130 minor projects are currently under way. On nearly every campus, construction equipment is standard issue and landscapes are being dramatically altered as new projects come on line and others are in various phases of development. From a new high-tech residence hall to uniform signage and traffic flow improvements, the projects are designed to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff.
“The list of major projects is comprehensive and challenging,” says Tom Donaudy, recently appointed vice president for facilities and University architect. “In addition to these projects, we are in the process of updating five campus master plans, which is required by state law every five years.” Donaudy oversees approximately 100 staff members in the departments of facilities planning, environmental health and safety, physical plant, space utilitization and analysis, and engineering and utilities.
Here are campus-by-campus highlights of current and planned projects:
FAU Boca Raton
Once a wide-open expanse with seemingly endless acreage awaiting development, the 850-acre Boca Raton campus has taken on the look of a major university with a growing core of academic buildings anchoring its mid-section.
Still the “backbone” of the campus, the popular Breezeway recently received a much-needed facelift, which included a fresh coat of paint, a refurbished floor and more outdoor tables. The Breezeway cafeteria will have a whole new look when it re-opens this fall. Instead of the traditional cafeteria line, diners will find an interesting mix of food vendors, including Wendy’s, Chick-N-Grill, Mamma Leone’s Pizza, Quizno’s and Salsarita’s. Additionally, the Centre Marketplace on the west side of campus is undergoing an expansion to accommodate increasing numbers of residential students. It will soon include a fresh bakery. With these facilities, plus Einstein Bros. Bagels and Starbucks just off the Breezeway, The Hub in the Hillel Center (offering kosher food), an Outtakes kiosk in the Sean Stein Pavilion of the Barry Kaye College of Business, and Outtakes and Coyote Jack’s in the Student Union, it’s easy to find a spot on the Boca campus where a hungry person can get a bite to eat.
|The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Building opened in the fall of 2005.
Taking the 'LEED'
FAU—home of the region’s first silver-level certified "green" facility in the Christine Lynn College of Nursing Building (gold certification is pending)—will be the first university in the state to construct a platinum-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified engineering building as part of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Ground will be broken for the engineering building on the Boca Raton campus in 2008, with completion expected in 2009. The facility will place the college at the national forefront of efforts in energy conservation and design of sustainable infrastructure. It will be constructed and equipped in such a way that the building itself will serve as a living teaching and research laboratory for environmental and alternative energy systems for the University, the K-14 educational system and the general public.
The building will be the centerpiece of a major effort by the college to provide hands-on education and information to the public and to students at all levels about the environmental and energy issues that are so vital to the future of our country and the world. It will showcase the college’s ongoing teaching and research efforts related to environmental and alternative energy systems, including photovoltaics, hydrogen fuel cells, renewable energy from the ocean, and diverse activities in environmental engineering and design/construction of sustainable infrastructure.
The courtyard in front of the bookstore on the Breezeway will soon get a major facelift. New features will include a majestic 14-foot-tall clock, a gift to the University from the Class of 2006. In the years just ahead, the courtyard will be the scene of book signings and other campus events.
The recently opened five-story Paul C. Wimbish Wing has added 20,000 square feet of space to the Wimberly Library. This $5 million project was funded with generous support from Virginia and Peter MacEachron and their son, John MacEachron, the family of the late Paul C. Wimbish, for whom the wing is named; Mata Jaffe, the late wife of FAU benefactor Arthur Jaffe; numerous benefactors of the Levine-Weinberger Jewish Life Center and Hillel of Broward-Palm Beach; and the FAU Student Government Association.
Just north of the Wimbish Wing, a new home for the Information Resource Management Computer Center is under construction. This much-needed facility, the nerve center for the University’s computing and telecommunications services, will provide IRM with expanded space and state-of-the-art communications technology.
In June, ground was broken for the Office Depot Center for Executive Education, a two-story, 15,500-square-foot addition to the Barry Kaye College of Business that will house executive graduate programs. Office Depot generously funded this building with two gifts totaling $2.6 million. That will double to $5.6 million when combined with state matching funds.
The Marleen and Harold Forkas Alumni Center will be built on a site north of the Breezeway. This two-story building will feature a lighthouse tower as a symbol to guide FAU alumni home. For current students, construction is slated to begin this fall on the campus’ Student Wellness Center, which will also be located just north of the Breezeway.
To accommodate increased campus traffic, Lee Street has been reconfigured as a boulevard, with double lanes running both east and west.
Anchoring the west side of campus is the FAU Arena, which was damaged during the 2004 hurricane season. It is now in the final stages of a complete renovation. When the Arena re-opens in the fall, it will feature an easy-access ticket booth and a pre-game social area. Inside, a team merchandise store, video scoreboard and chair-back seating will enhance the fan experience. Upgraded and modernized locker rooms will serve both home and visiting teams. The Arena, home court for the men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams, also hosts commencements and other special events.
Along the southern border of the campus, Glades Park Towers, a 600-room residence hall, is set to welcome new students in August. The recently completed seven-story structure is located adjacent to Heritage Park Towers near the Glades Road entrance. It features two- and three-bedroom suites and is open to freshmen only. This new residence hall will include an Outtakes convenience store located in the first-floor center core area.
Among the most exciting future development projects for the Boca Raton campus is the planned construction of a new Boca Raton Community Hospital, which will serve as the primary teaching facility for FAU’s medical education partnership program with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The 530-bed complex will occupy 38 acres in the southeastern portion of campus, at the intersection of Glades Road and Florida Atlantic Boulevard. It will have its own parking garage.
Beautification and the preservation of green areas are still top priorities. The recently approved master plan for the campus cites “preservation of open spaces and the upgrading of landscape elements” among its chief objectives. The installation of new campus-wide directional signage is helping to create a user-friendly atmosphere.
The Davie campus is also experiencing an explosion of growth. The burgeoning campus is eagerly awaiting the opening of its new Student Union (at right). Occupancy is expected in January. The 20,000-square-foot structure is under construction at the northwest end of the Liberal Arts building. This $6 million facility will include offices for Student Government and other campus organizations, a multipurpose area and student lounge, a bookstore, food service, and a health auxiliary and business support services area. The addition of the Student Union will allow the first floor of the Liberal Arts building to be reconfigured as a one-stop student services center that will include admissions, registration and financial affairs.
Major Projects Recently Completed, Under Construction or Planned
BOCA RATON CAMPUS
- College of Business Sean Stein Pavilion
- College of Nursing Building
- Lee Street revisions
- Wimbish Library addition
- IRM Computer Center expansion/remodel
- Track and Field
- FAU Arena roof/remodel
- Recreation and Wellness Center
- Glades Park Towers
- College of Business Office Depot Center
- Alumni Center
- Breezeway refurbishing
- Student Union
- FAU/UF Joint-Use Building
- Scripps Florida
TREASURE COAST CAMPUS
- Phase II campus expansion
- K-8 Lab School
PINE JOG ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER
- “Green” Elementary School (with Palm Beach County and CORE Communities)
The Davie campus also is anticipating the expansion of its academic programs in a new joint-use facility to be shared with the University of Florida on land west of the current campus. Architects will begin the design phase in September, with groundbreaking for the $30 million facility scheduled for next year.
While the Jupiter campus does not have any major construction projects in progress right now, Scripps Florida is building its permanent research facility on the eastern edge of the property. A new principal entrance for the campus, off Parkside Drive, is in the design phase, and lighted walkways are being planned for the Robert J. Huckshorn Arboretum to make it handicapped-accessible. A new Outtakes convenience store recently opened in The Burrow, the campus student lounge.
FAU Treasure Coast
In Port St. Lucie, the groundbreaking for the phase two expansion of the Treasure Coast campus was held on Aug. 2 (see article in the next issue of Update). When it opens in August 2008, the new building will provide 31,000 square feet of additional classroom and office space. The $10 million state appropriation for this project was accompanied by a $2.2 million allocation for academic program expansion, which will accommodate new bachelor’s degree programs in accounting, finance and marketing. It will also allow for expansion of bachelor’s and graduate-level programs in nursing.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for FAU’s K-8 Lab School in Tradition were held in February, with anticipated completion in April 2008. The new school will serve approximately 1,600 students and 120 teachers, who will be linked with FAU faculty and researchers to give the students a unique learning environment. The University’s partners in this initiative are St. Lucie County Public School and CORE Communities, the company that is developing Tradition.
Dedication ceremonies for the FAU/Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution Marine Science Building were held in November 2006. This 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility includes laboratories and supporting infrastructure for use in the areas of biology and chemistry, with special emphasis on marine science. The Legislature also recently allocated monies for renovation and construction at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution as the University brings HBOI under the umbrella of FAU as a research institute.
Construction of Florida’s first “green” elementary school is under way at FAU’s Pine Jog Environmental Education Center in West Palm Beach. The school will have an environmental focus, using the unspoiled setting of the Pine Jog property as an outdoor classroom. The facility will be the first public elementary school in the state to become certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as a "green" building. To qualify, buildings must satisfy all requirements and earn credits for water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, sustainable site, indoor environmental quality and materials and resources, and innovation and design. The school will be among only a dozen public schools in the nation to be LEED-certified. It is scheduled to open in August 2008.
For more information on FAU’s master plans and project updates, visit www.fau.edu/facilities/fp.