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Professional Studies Building Groundbreaking Set for Oct. 13


Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Professional Studies Building will be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 13, on the Studio West lawn.

President Erik J. Bitterbaum will preside over the event, which includes remarks by Sen. James Seward, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, School of Professional Studies Interim Dean John Cottone, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management Nasrin Parvizi, Communications Disorders and Sciences Department Chair Regina Grantham, and Rachel Flynn, a speech and hearing science major from Pearl River, N.Y.

A reception will be held immediately following in the Studio West lobby, with architectural drawings of the building available for viewing. 

Construction of the 20,000 sq. ft., two-story Professional Studies Building, an addition to Studio West, will begin in mid-November, said Joe Westbrook, associate facilities coordinator at the College and the project manager. The new building will occupy the existing parking area and part of the lawn on the east side of Studio West.

"We will have staggered start dates on the new building and on the rehab work to Studio West, but they will have a common finish date of January 2011," said Westbrook of the $11 million construction project.

The Professional Studies Building first floor will feature the 8,000 sq. ft. clinic for the Communication Disorders and Science Department - formerly Speech Pathology and Audiology - that is currently housed in the McDonald Building on Tompkins Street. The clinic houses an audiology chamber, observation and therapy rooms, a library and a resource area.

The Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department will be moving to the new facility from its current location in the Park Center. The department will have an outdoor education laboratory, a play teaching area and academic equipment staging and storage areas on the first floor.

The second floor, which occupies 7,000 sq. ft., houses 23 offices and the two department offices for Communication Disorders and Sciences as well as Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies.

"The front of the building will face toward Lankler Drive," said Westbrook, "The exterior will be a combination of red brick face and layered metal panel overlays."

A 30-foot by 80-foot lobby and connecting hallway will link the Professional Studies Building to Studio West and will be flanked on the exterior by two separate courtyards with gathering spaces.

Renovation work on the 43,000 sq. ft. Studio West building will begin in March 2010, said Westbrook, adding that the façade will continue the brick-and-metal look of the Professional Studies Building. While the Studio West foundation footprint remains the same, the interior changes are significant.

The Facilities Planning, Design and Construction Office will relocate elsewhere on campus to allow for the consolidation of all the School of Professional Studies academic departments, with the exception of the Health Department which elected to remain in the Moffett Center.

The School of Professional Studies dean's suite, which offers three offices, a conference room and a reception area, will move to the area now occupied by the facilities staff. The Sport Management Department will relocate in the building to the space formerly occupied by the dean's office. The walls will be removed and reconfigured for 21 offices and a special events room. The existing state-of-the-art sports technology labs will undergo minor alterations.

The Center for Obesity Research and Education, with its laboratory, testing room, library and resource area, will be situated in a 2,000 sq. ft area in the middle of Studio West. A new motor behavior testing laboratory and computer lab will replace the ones in the Park Center and will be adjacent to the existing biomechanics lab which will undergo a minor facelift.

The Kinesiology Department, located near the west end of Studio West, will have 18 offices, including the department chair's space.

A lawn will replace the parking spaces closest to Studio West on the west side. Some 400 feet below the surface, 40 geothermal wells have been dug to allow for heating and cooling the facility.

"We will release heat into the earth in the summer to cool the building and extract heat from the ground in the winter to warm it," said Westbrook. "By doing so, we are reducing our carbon footprint."

KSS Architects, LLP, of Philadelphia, Pa., provided the architectural designs for the construction and renovation, while M/E Engineering, P.C., of Syracuse, N.Y. are the project engineers.

The campus steering committee included Westbrook, Parvizi, Cottone, Director of Facilities Planning Jeff Lallas, Director of Recreational Sports Julian Wright and Dan Donlon, capitol program manager with the State University Construction Fund.