New academic building to host multiple majors

Mercyhurst College is scheduled to be home to a new academic building by spring 2011.

The new building, known as the Center for Academic Engagement, will be 36,000 square feet and cost close to $9 million. The funding for the building will come from private donations, according to college information piece about the building.

The building will have more than just classrooms and offices. It will include an atrium, lab space, auditorium, board room, conference center, seminar room, multipurpose computer labs, a production center, a concierge center at the entrance, a snack bar, a kitchen with catering capabilities, a banquet hall, a veranda for outdoor dining and a workout center.

These additional rooms, such as the lab spaces, will offer a hands-on style of learning for students. Other features, such as the snack bar, will provide revenue for the college.

The building will host the following majors: Intelligence Studies, Business, Communications, Hospitality Management, Applied Politics and the Evelyn Lincoln Ethics Institute.

“I would like to emphasize the importance of creating interdisciplinary synergies that build on the strengths of the Business, Communications, Intelligence Studies and Hospitality Departments,” Dean of the Walker School of Business James Breckenridge said. “We have the unique opportunity to create academic niches that are not available in any other place in the country.”

Breckenridge explained why a new space for Business and Intelligence Studies majors was needed.

“The space currently housing the Business department is inadequate and outdated,” Breckenridge said. “The space occupied by Intelligence Studies on Wayne Street is leased and does not belong to the college.”

The building will display the traditional Gothic style of architecture, the same style evident in other buildings on campus, including Old Main.