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.


Bea Lyons Honored At “Tea For Bea”

When Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kimberly McCormick, established the Faculty Fellows Program during 2014, several well-known and respected educators were named as inaugural fellows. The Social and Behavioral Science Division honored Bea Lyons as its fellow. A special “Tea for Bea” was recently held to serve as a springboard for the first endowed fellowship ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Kimball Announces Early College Open House

Chattanooga State Community College announces an Early College Open House on Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. CST at the Chattanooga State Kimball Site at 2100 Main St. in Kimball. College representatives will be on site to answer questions, assist with dual enrollment grant applications and process registrations on the spot.  Chattanooga State's Early College Program gives students ... (click for more)

City Seeking Grant To Improve Signals At 32 Intersections

The city is seeking a $2 million federal grant to go along with $500,000 in city funds for a project to improve signals at 32 intersections. There would also be bike and pedestrian improvements. The routes include Brainerd Road, Lee Highway, Shallowford Road, Gunbarrel Road and Hamilton Place Boulevard. The application is for a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant. (click for more)

Olympian Kristin Armstrong Sets Course Record; Talansky Is Men's Winner

Two-time Olympic goal medal winner Kristin Armstrong won the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championship in a record time at the Volkswagen course on Saturday morning. She finished the 19.2-mile course in 42 minutes, 8 seconds. The time trial victory assures the 41-year-old Armstrong of a spot as one of three American women to compete in the world championship time trial ... (click for more)

Shame On The Housing Authority - And Response

With Chattanooga and other cities around the nation struggling to find solutions to chronic homelessness it's cruel to evict families likely with children over a fight.   When you evict the adults you're also evicting any and all children in the household.  Intelligence would dictate looking for a root cause. Compassion would dictate looking for alternatives. Both ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Buy Ping Golf Clubs

As we set the charcoal, ice the drinks and prepare for Memorial Day, the first thing on my mind is to ask any golfers within my reach to consider buying and playing with Ping-brand golf clubs. Pings are made in America but there is a little something else you need to know, as told in an email I received earlier this week. I regret I do not know the author: * * * “On Monday, ... (click for more)