Lee University To Break Ground Monday On New Communication Arts Building

Saturday, July 13, 2013
Lee University will break ground for the new Communication Arts Department building on Monday.
Lee University will break ground for the new Communication Arts Department building on Monday.

Lee University will begin construction Monday on its newest addition to the campus.  The new building, which will house Lee’s Communication Arts Department, will be built on the extreme southwestern corner of campus and will see use by the start of Lee’s fall semester in August of 2014.

“It’s exciting finally to be starting on this project,” said Lee President Dr. Paul Conn. “It’s going to connect our campus directly to the downtown business district in a beautiful and dynamic way.”  

The building will face Church Street, lying between Ocoee and Church Streets, along Central Avenue to the south, on property formerly owned by First Baptist Church and earlier was a commercial strip including a JCPenney store and other retail businesses.  Corn Apartments also formerly occupied a portion of this property

"The ‘front door’ of this building will be on the Church Street side,” continued Dr. Conn. “Most of the pedestrian traffic will move in and out from Church Street, so the primary entrances and a terrace is on that side. On the other hand, we want this building to look terrific from Ocoee Street, so there really is no “back” of this building.  It’s designed with a 360-degree view, and there will also be an entrance on the corner of Ocoee and Central Avenue, facing toward the courthouse.”

The total project is slated to cost $10 million, including the site, construction and equipment.  The building will cover 40,000 square feet on two floors. 

The structure will feature a state-of-the-art “black box” theatre seating 200 for stage productions; a television studio and sound stage; a 120-seat film screening theatre; eight video editing suites; a student journalism lab; 22 faculty offices; classrooms of various sizes; and a computer lab.

The new building will also host a new facet to Lee’s growing food services options, with a food kiosk by Sandella’s Flatbread Café, a Connecticut-based operator of restaurants which features flatbreads, wraps, and sandwiches. 

All of Lee’s recent buildings have included food venues:  Dunkin Donuts, Subway, Chick-Fil-A, Einstein Bagels, and Jazzman’s Coffee all operate within Lee’s academic buildings.

Department of Communication Arts is one of Lee’s fastest-growing departments.  Last year it served 369 students pursuing B.A. and B.S degrees in communication studies, public relations, theatre, and digital media, while offering minors in advertising, communication studies, journalism, public relations, telecommunications and theatre.

“Some of the most remarkable and creative work at Lee is being done in the Communications Department,” said Dr. Conn. “It’s time for us to give them a space of their own, with top-notch equipment and facilities. I believe this is one of the brightest areas at Lee moving into the future.”

Cole Strong, director of special projects in Lee’s president’s office, is the administrator supervising the construction and outfitting of the building. 

“We are excited to get underway,” said Mr. Strong. “Now we need some dry weather so we can get the footers in the ground and start building the super structure.  It’s going to be an exciting next couple of months.”

The project will be completed by Tri-Con, Inc., a design-build firm which has built numerous other downtown buildings (the Museum Center at Five Points, the Police Headquarters, and the Cleveland-Bradley County Public Library), as well as most of the Lee campus. Tri-Con has engaged the firm of Rardin and Carroll Architects as the lead consulting architects for the project. 

Lee has also contracted with Acoustic Dimensions, Inc., a Dallas, Texas, company which specializes in theatrical and telecommunications venues, to supervise the outfitting of the building.


Hamilton County Residents Graduate With Honors From MTSU

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee sat down with several students, including three Hamilton County residents, to discuss their plans after their Dec. 13 graduation with honors from the university. Carly Duffy and Jalisa Jones, both of Chattanooga, and Kaitlin Pitre of Soddy-Daisy were three of the students recognized at commencement as cum laude (with honors), magna cum laude ... (click for more)

Cleveland State Introduces New Scholarship Program

Cleveland State Community College is proud to support Governor Haslam and the Tennessee State Legislature who have made higher education a top priority in our state. That is why CSCC is offering a new scholarship program to provide even greater value to the Tennessee Promise program.          “From the day Tennessee Promise was approved by the State ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Proceed With Manager Bonuses In 2 Steps; Considering Employee Performance Incentive Plan

Erlanger President and CEO Kevin Spiegel said Wednesday night that the hospital plans to proceed with $1.7 million in manager bonuses in two steps. Current participants in the incentive program will receive 50 percent of the approved 2014 performance plan this month. The remaining 50 percent will be paid to the management group in July 2015. At the same time, Mr. Spiegel ... (click for more)

Man Shot In Chattanooga On Wednesday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police said a man was shot Wednesday afternoon. At approximately 3:16 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a local hospital for a person shot. P olice were advised that a male victim arrived suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. O fficers are attempting to locate a crime scene at this time. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with ... (click for more)

A Letter To The NAACP

I believe when a "unarmed" man is evil, he will try to beat a police officer on his head in hopes to knock him out, in hopes to kill him. We saw the bruises on the officer's face.  This evil force tried to take his gun away from him , Proof was in the autopsy.  Why did Michael Brown  try to take his gun away from him? Exactly, to kill the officer.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Advice: Just Be Normal

Matthew Kerlin, by his own admission, claims to be just a normal guy. But I am of the opinion, after reading his speech following Samford University’s Winter Commencement exercises, that the university’s Assistant Dean for Spiritual Life is a bit more than that. Dr. Kerlin knows college kids well and his advice to the most recent flock of America’s graduates resonates with brilliance. ... (click for more)