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.


Joint Limited Residential Contractor Licensing Class Planned By Chattanooga State And CSCC

Chattanooga State’s Economic and Community Education Department is partnering with Cleveland State Community College to offer a 30-hour Limited Residential Contractor Licensing class. The class will meet two consecutive Fridays and Saturdays, March 18-19 and March 25-26 at Cleveland State’s campus located at 3535 Adkisson Dr. in Cleveland. Class cost is $449 and limited to 20 ... (click for more)

Dalton State School of Business Maintains Elite Accreditation

Maintaining Dalton State’s Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business Accreditation keeps the College in an elite group that can offer business students a higher quality education.  Dalton State’s School of Business was recently re-accredited by the AACSB International, a global nonprofit organization of educational institutions and businesses devoted to the advancement ... (click for more)

Wintry Mix Possible For Chattanooga Area

A wintry mix is possible for the Chattanooga area beginning Sunday. However, there could be little or no snow and ice unless temperatures dip. Here is the latest forecast from the National Weather Service: MIXED WINTRY PRECIPITATION EXPECTED SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY MORNING... A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN FALLING ACROSS THE SOUTHERN CUMBERLAND PLATEAU...THE ... (click for more)

Man At Homeless Camp On Chestnut Street Charged With Trying To Set Fire To Another Man

A man at a homeless camp on Chestnut Street has been charged with trying to set fire to another man at the camp. Richard Warren "Trey" Erwin, 40, is charged with aggravated arson. Police were called to the 2200 block of Chestnut at 12:40 a.m. Earlier, Michael Nye and Alisa Buckels had called for an ambulance. They were checked out at Erlanger Hospital for inhalation injuries. ... (click for more)

Black History Month Hero - Theodore McGraw (Kidd) AKA "Pongee" - And Response

I grew up in "Old St. Elmo" on 39th Street behind the Incline. As a child I remember my older brother "Pongee" as being my hero. This month of February being Black History Month, I cannot think of a better person to be honored than my late older brother, Theodore McGraw (Kidd) aka "Pongee" of St. Elmo (Gamble Town). Growing up without my father, Theodore was always available ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: About Lions & Elephants

A family of lions is called a ‘pride’ and rightfully so. The boss of the pride is indeed the ‘King of the Jungle’ and he makes all the big decisions, like when they go hunting, who is going to be ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’ and is quick to settle any family quarrels. But, as with all in nature, there comes a day when the King gets too old to rule. His teeth are loose, his gait hampered ... (click for more)