IUP breaks ground on new academic building

Indiana University of Pennsylvania broke ground Friday on a new aca­demic building to house seven depart­ments of IUP’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The $30 million building, which will house the journalism, English, political science, philosophy, history, geography and regional planning, and religious studies departments, will be located next to the Stapleton Library on the existing lawn between Sutton and Clark halls.

The ground-breaking ceremony included remarks from Joshua Acosta (senior, biology pre-med), president of the philanthropy council and mem­ber of the Men of God Christian fra­ternity.

More than $5,000 has been donat­ed and designated for the new build­ing’s “lobby space and furnishings,” Acosta said in a November news re­lease.

The buildings that currently house the seven departments are “outdated,” executive director of communications and media relations Michelle Fryling said.

“The new building will bring together most of the departments and will provide cutting-edge technology and teaching and learning facilities,” Fryling said. “The university has been planning this building for more than a decade, but funds have just not been available.”

The building will include 120 offices, 31 classrooms, a 250-seat au­ditorium, an atrium and coffee shop, a great hall, a public artifacts room, labs and specialty classrooms, and a rooftop plaza. The plaza will include meteorological experimentation by the geography and regional planning department, according to the news release.

Plans for the building include specific rooms and labs designated for the English and journalism depart­ments. A lab will be included for the Digital Media Institute and a pub­lic history artifact room for history students seeking a master’s degree, the news release said.

Departments found in McElhaney, Leonard, Keith, Sutton and Davis halls will move to the new building, which is projected to take 25 months to complete.

According to the news release, the building’s “basic construction” will be funded by Pennsylvania’s Department of General Services.