Friday, September 24, 2010

FAMU Cuts Ribbon and Breaks Ground

Florida A&M University (FAMU) broke ground for its $40.5 million Pharmacy Phase II building and had a ribbon cutting ceremony for its $16 million remodeled and renovated Tucker Hall.

The Pharmacy Phase II of the New Pharmacy Building will be located on FAMU’s main campus at the corner of Bronough and Pershing Streets. It involves the designing and constructing of a state-of-the-art 45,000 net square feet research, graduate and professional study instructional space.

Florida’s Gov. Charlie Crist, Sen. Alfred Lawson Jr. and Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of the State University System of Florida participated in the ceremony.

“I am indeed proud to have this opportunity to be here today,” said Gov. Crist. “This is not only for what it can do for medicine, but also what it can do for jobs.”

According to Henry Lewis III, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the new pharmacy complex will facilitate the College’s hiring and filling of five endowed chairs in biomedical research. New animal research facilities, research libraries and cutting-edge research equipment will allow the College to continue to be a leader in pharmaceutical research. Furthermore, more than 30 new research laboratories will allow expansion of the College’s graduate enrollment by more than 50 new students.

Lewis said, “I am elated that we are beginning the final phase of construction that will catalyze the future growth of the College.”

Before the ground breaking ceremony, FAMU had a ribbon cutting ceremony for Tucker Hall. The newly renovated building is home to the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Graduate Studies and Research and the Charles Winter Wood Theatre.

As William “Bill” Jennings, chairman of the FAMU Board of Trustees, Chancellor Brogan and FAMU President Ammons cut the ribbon, more than 100 people in attendance cheered.

“This building is a showcase,” said Ammons. “We are proud of the work that has been done to complete this project. This building is a symbol of how we can preserve ‘Excellence with Caring.’”

Brogan, who wore an orange tie, said, “We all know that we do this for one reason — the students now, the students who have passed through these halls and the students who are not born yet. It is not about the steel frame of this building. It is about the teaching and learning that will take place in here.”

The project scope of Tucker Hall included restoration of the building’s envelope, replacement of the building’s plumbing and air conditioning system, total replacement of the electrical wiring, complete roof replacement, asbestos abatement, structural systems upgrades, correction of life safety and technology upgrades. Renovation of offices, classrooms and the Charles Winter Wood Theater were also included in the project scope.

During the ceremony, Chanta Haywood, dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research, shared a story she had with a student regarding Tucker Hall’s renovations.

“I ran into a student in the elevator who told me that this building [Tucker Hall] makes him want to make straight A’s,” said Haywood. “Now we have a straight “A” building that will inspire straight “A” attitudes and now we as administrators and faculty have to give a straight “A” effort to assure our students have a straight “A” future.”

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