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Old Westbury's New Building

By Chantrese Williams
On February 17, 2011

Anticipation has been increasing within the Old Westbury community about the new building. Students who reside on campus see the building's progress everyday as they are walking to class. The newest addition to the Old Westbury campus is located adjacent to the existing Campus Center. Although many students are under the impression that inside this modern building there will be dormitories for students, the building, which has been under construction since last spring, will only contain classrooms as well as faculty offices.

The new 147,000-square-foot academic center will provide needed academic space for the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and School of Education. Resources in the new building will include 42 classrooms, one 150-seat lecture/conference room, five computer labs, and new administrative and faculty offices for each of the three academic schools. The facility will also have a café/student lounge and an outdoor patio. Being constructed at a cost of $64 million, the building has been designed by Kliment Halsband Architects, a New York-based firm that has earned more than fifty design awards. Among many projects the firm has designed for institutions of higher education are The Languages and Literature Building at New York University, the Landman Library at Arcadia University, the Ebert Art Center at the College of Wooster, the Computer Science Building at Princeton University, and the Arts and Science Building at SUNY Albany. Construction of the new building is expected to be completed in 2011.

Director of Capital Planning Thomas DelGiudice said, "We need a building dedicated to teaching." DelGiudice, who is also an Associate Professor of Economics, Politics, Economics and Law has been teaching for twenty-five years and was once a student at Old Westbury, explained that in planning, he learned a lot from seeing the school from both the perspective of a teacher as well as a student. According to DelGiudice, the planning was carefully done and all requests regarding what people hope to see in the new building were documented. DelGiudice and his team hope to please everyone with the finished product of the building. However, DelGiudice understands that it is hard to get the nod of approval from everyone saying, "Being an economist, you can't always please everyone in trade off." He is hopeful that everyone who is apart of the Old Westbury community will "see the bigger picture."

There has been concern raised over the future of the Academic Village with the arrival of the new building. In response to this, DelGiudice stated that at the very least, a wing of the Academic Village will remain open as long as students are living there. According to DelGiudice, the new building will just provide a bit of what he refers to as "wiggle room." DelGiudice explained that constructing a new building, which will give Old Westbury a fresh look, seemed like the better decision as opposed to investing more money into the Academic Village, which is an older building. When mentioning the team of people behind the new building, DelGuidice said, "The entire team works really hard and wants the building to be good."  

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