Construction continues on Academic West

Academic West On the Rise

Kerong Kelly


In 2011, the University Board of Trustees approved the construction of Academic West, the site for new classrooms, offices and laboratories. The initiative to build additional campus buildings was a part of the 2007 Campus Master Plan.

In addition to its practicality for both faculty and students, Academic West will be LEED certified, making it energy efficient and environmentally friendly. There will be a partial “green roof,” rain gardens with native plants to manage storm-water runoff and, as a result, the energy performance will be at least 24 percent more efficient than the typical design standards. The construction cost is estimated at $24 million.

The opening of the new building is much anticipated by both students and faculty alike.

“In my four years here, I have seen many changes but none as large as the construction of Academic West. It is difficult to envision returning to campus as an alumni and seeing a different Bucknell. It is, however, exciting to think that future students will have newer, more advanced facilities,” Morgan Slade ’13 said.

On Sept. 13, 2012, students, faculty, administrators and alumni gathered to watch the addition of the final piece of structural steel. This event marked the final stages of construction and the implementation of the Campus Master Plan.

“I am looking forward to the creation of the ‘Humanities Quad’ made possible when the Social Sciences move to Academic West,” said John Westbrook, chair of the department of languages, cultures and linguistics. “The quad will provide a showcase of the Arts and Humanities on the most prestigious part of campus. It will bring under one roof the faculty in my department who currently spread among four different buildings. The move also creates new academic, social and research spaces, such as a digital media lab, a costume shop and an enhanced archaeology lab, and several open lounges.”

As the construction continues, the University hopes the new building will be in use by the fall semester of 2013.

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