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News Release

Moravian College to build high-tech academic center

The three-story complex will house 15 classrooms and four academic departments

(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) - The Executive Committee of the Moravian College Board of Trustees yesterday unanimously authorized the immediate construction of a new academic building at the heart of Moravian's Main Street Campus. The three-story complex will house 15 classrooms and four academic departments in more than 55,000 square feet. Construction will begin September 17 and will take approximately 12 to 15 months to complete.

"Our decision to build the academic complex reflects real vision, courage, and commitment," said Priscilla Payne Hurd, Chair of the Board of Trustees. "We have stepped up to a challenge and a dream that has existed at Moravian for almost three decades," she said.

The new academic complex will be constructed across from the Haupert Union Building (HUB) entrance on Monocacy Street. A beautifully landscaped pedestrian plaza will adjoin the building with the Collier Hall of Science and the walkways that lead to Reeves Library and other nearby buildings.

"Although we have much more work to do, our entire campus community should take pride in this visible sign of our progress and focus on academic excellence," said Ervin J. Rokke, president. "The new academic building will enable Moravian to meet the specific demands of modern pedagogy. Technology-enhanced classrooms, in a variety of seating configurations, will facilitate innovative teaching techniques, enhancing the educational experience for our students," said Rokke.

To accommodate construction of the new academic building, the offices of Student Affairs, Multicultural Affairs, and International Study were moved during the summer to four houses just north of Elizabeth Avenue on Main Street. "We have already completed demolition and preparation of the site," said Doug Plotts, Moravian's director of facility services. "Construction timelines are notoriously tenuous, but our current target for completion is fall 2002. If we meet that ambitious target, the new building could be ready for classes by spring 2002," he said.

In addition to the fifteen technologically advanced classrooms, the complex will include two tiered lecture halls, with a total seating capacity of 631. All classrooms will be smart classrooms, with a computer station for the instructor, selected multimedia equipment to match the use of the room, and a ceiling-mounted projector.

One classroom is designed as a mock teaching space for kindergarten-through-twelfth-grade teacher training. Laboratories will include a computer laboratory with 30 student workstations, a data and statistics laboratory, an experimental teaching room, three observation rooms for psychology, and four small student and faculty research rooms. Conference or breakout rooms will lend themselves to small group discussions and seminars.

The building will house four academic departments: Mathematics and Computer Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Education, with individual offices for permanent faculty members and four group offices for adjunct faculty. The placement of faculty offices for the four academic departments in proximity to each other will promote the College's multidisciplinary efforts, while proximity to the classrooms and to student/faculty common areas will provide for easy student/faculty interaction on a one-to-one basis.

"The new academic building's affect on the classroom will be dramatic," said Dr. Curtis A. Keim, dean of the faulty. "This substantial addition of classroom space will mean smaller class sizes and greater flexibility when scheduling courses. Our students will receive even more personalized attention from the faculty."

The construction of this new academic facility will address one of the most pressing needs identified by Moravian's Commission on the Future: not merely additional space to accommodate an increasing enrollment, but technologically-enhanced space to meet the demands of modern pedagogy.

Alvin H. Butz, Inc., of Allentown is the construction manager for the project and the firm H2L2 of Philadelphia is the architect.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.