SUNY Brockport Breaks Ground on New Academic Building

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday, August 21 for The College at Brockport’s Liberal Arts Building, which will be the first new academic facility on campus in four decades. Philip Wise, AIA, Principal at SWBR Architects and several other staff members participated in the groundbreaking ceremony.

The three-story building, which will be 61,000 square feet, is projected to cost $29.3 million and will be located just east of the college’s Drake Memorial Library, on the south side of the campus. It is slated to be ready for use in the fall of 2014.

With rooms of different sizes, the new building will house the departments of English, history, modern languages and cultures, philosophy and women and gender studies. Currently, these programs are at various sites on campus, with the offices of the faculty and classrooms for some of these departments in different buildings. “Students will be more engaged. It sets up an environment where students and faculty are constantly seeing each other,” said Darwin Prioleau, dean of Brockport’s School of The Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Not only will the faculty and classrooms for these departments be in the new building, but gathering space will also be provided to promote interaction.

A 200-seat auditorium will also be in the new building. And there will be gallery space to display the college’s collection of poet E.E. Cummings’ paintings, which are now in the art department’s archives.

Funding for the new building is called for in the State University of New York educational facilities five-year capital plan and has been approved by state lawmakers, said James Willis, the college’s vice president of administration and finance. The State University Construction Fund is managing the project. Registered with the U.S. Green Building Council, the new facility will take advantage of natural light and use bioretention and open pond areas to retain rainwater.

The last time a new academic building was completed on campus was in 1974, with the need for new facilities delayed by the decline in student enrollment in the years that followed the decade of growth.