|Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) announces the approval for plans to build a new student life center. The center will be a four-story, 110,000 sq ft building designed to centralize the university’s diverse array of student life activities on campus. The project is still in the programmatic stage; however, the first phase of architectural drawings are planned for completion in January 2017. HuntonBrady Architects, in collaboration with Rhodes+Brito Architects, won a national design competition for the project.
The new student life center will be centrally located on the B-CU campus. The building will be placed in the current footprint of Curtis and Meigs Hall. In an effort to celebrate the historic relevance of the previous hall, a portion of the existing exterior wall will be preserved and integrated within the double height atrium space, serving as a framing element to the past for its cherished contribution to the historic fabric of the university.
The center will consist of a two-story podium containing student services, food services, state-of-the-art wellness facilities, and common areas. It will also feature a linear, two-story student housing element that contains an elevated, exterior quad area. The building has a clear, accentuated glass entrance that will draw users to the building and provide a seamless integration of indoor and outdoor spaces throughout. The ground plane contains an outdoor amphitheater and dining, and multiple outdoor lounges and multipurpose areas. The building design re-defines and engages the central campus quad area while celebrating the spirit of the University and its founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.
The new student life center will be an energy-efficient, sustainable building that includes controlled natural light, rain gardens, a green roof/terrace, light and motion sensors, low volume plumbing and low VOC materials. In addition, remaining portions of the previous hall will be recycled and integrated into new building materials to minimize the impact on environmental resources.
The university will release more information in regards to this project as it becomes available. The students, staff and supporters of B-CU are excited about the growth of the campus and the university, overall.