Press Release for Wednesday, September 21, 2005

UNF Breaks Ground on New Social Sciences Building: Jacksonville's First LEED-Certified Facility

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida is breaking ground in more ways than one. A groundbreaking ceremony for a new Social Sciences building was held today at 10 a.m. in front of Founders Hall (building 2) on the UNF campus, with UNF President John A. Delaney officially marking the event by moving dirt with a backhoe. With the construction of this structure, the University is also paving the way for the first LEED-certified facility to be built in Jacksonville.

“I am extremely excited about the possibilities for this first-class educational facility, not only for classroom instruction but also for research and community outreach activities,” said Delaney. “We believe in creating learning environments between students and faculty, which is why classrooms in this new building will be located on the first floor and faculty offices on the floors above, giving students quick and easy access to faculty.”

The three-story Social Sciences building, located near the center of campus and adjacent to the current College of Arts and Sciences building, will comprise 63,000 square feet, housing five regular classrooms for 49 students each, two theater-style classrooms to seat over 80 students each and three teaching laboratories. All classrooms will also be “smart” classrooms, with the latest in technology and wireless communication. The $9.9 million facility, expected to open late 2006, will also provide offices for faculty, staff and administration, in addition to five large conference rooms, spaces for student/staff lounges, study areas and storage.

This facility, the signature building for the College of Arts and Sciences, will accommodate several departments, including sociology, anthropology, psychology, criminal justice and political science and public administration, which are currently located in various buildings throughout the campus. Bringing them together under one building will encourage greater collaboration as well as interdisciplinary dialogue and programs.

UNF is also paving the way for the first LEED-certified, environment-friendly building to be constructed in Jacksonville. Special certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, a private, nonprofit group that encourages environmentally responsible buildings, is being sought for the new Social Sciences building. This certification is obtained through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, which measures a building’s impact on its surroundings.

The rating system evaluates criteria such as reducing storm water runoff, using materials that do less damage to the environment, providing user-friendly recycling stations throughout buildings, reducing energy use and use of drinking water for irrigation as well as providing students and staff with a comfortable environment.

The Social Sciences building was designed by Smith McCrary Architects, while Elkins Constructors is the construction management firm overseeing the construction.