UM recently began work on a series of construction projects throughout campus, including the new School of Architecture and the relocated psychology department. Many other projects remain under construction and some, like the Schools of Nursing and Communication, have not yet been finalized or approved by the City of Coral Gables.
Department of Psychology
The expansion of the Department of Psychology consists of three new floors in the Flipse Building next to the Ponce garage. The department can already be found at this location because the construction project is almost complete.
According to Dr. Rodney Wellens, chairman of the Department of Psychology, the new facilities will consist of “state-of-the-art” classrooms and offices, including space for advising and academic services as well as a mental health clinic for the community and a center for autism and related disabilities.
“We will now be able to house our faculty and graduate students under one roof fostering greater collaboration,” Wellens said. “This will also allow us to move our training clinic and other community outreach operations from rented space off-campus to the new building.”
The construction for this multi-million dollar project was initiated in order to meet the needs of the psychology department, which, according to Wellens, houses the largest Ph.D. and second-largest undergraduate program at UM.
School of Architecture
The construction project in the School of Architecture consists of an 8,000-square foot building to be built between Buildings 35 and 48. The building will house a lecture hall, an exhibition area and a classroom.
“We need all these spaces because, right now, in order to get all our students together in a class, a lecture or to see a guest speaker, we need to go across campus,” Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, dean of the School of Architecture, said. “Also, our enrollment is on the rise.”
According to Plater-Zyberk, the new building will cost over $3 million and will be ready in about a year and a half.
School of Nursing
The School of Nursing is awaiting the final approval of building permits to begin construction for the new M. Christine Schwartz Center for Nursing Education, to be built between the Memorial Building and Allen Hall. The four story, 53,000 square foot center will allow all students and faculty in the school to be in the same building for the first time ever.
“The building will include technologically advanced classrooms and seminar rooms, clinical practice labs with simulators, an advanced computer center and research labs for cutting-edge nursing research,” Dr. Lois S. Marshall, assistant dean for student affairs for the School of Nursing, said.
According to Marshall, by creating this facility in the center of the Coral Gables campus, the School of Nursing hopes to provide a more diverse educational community to prepare more culturally sensitive nurses. The Center will help the school meet its goals of addressing the current nurse shortage and preparing nurses for leadership positions.
The $5 million for this project was a gift from Ted and M. Christine Schwartz.
School of Communication
The design work has been completed for the planned expansion to the Frances L. Wolfson Building in the School of Communication. This 25,000-square foot addition will include faculty offices, classrooms, student laboratory space, a large lecture hall and areas for student activities.
“The emphasis is on student lab space because we are getting more and more students,” Edward J. Pfister, dean of the School of Communication, said.
Construction for this project will begin once the plan is accepted by local authorities.
“We now estimate that the project will cost $9.2 million,” Pfister said. “We are waiting for approval from the City of Coral Gables.”
However, Pfister was unable to tell The Miami Hurricane how long it will take for the city to approve the design.
The Hurricane will continue to report on construction projects throughout campus as information about them is released.
Patricia Mazzei can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.