By Gaelyn Hite
Construction of IAIA’s Welcome Center began in August of last year with the influx of heavy machinery and the grading of land. The Welcome Center will be the designated place for visitors, new and prospective students, tour groups and alumni to gather and begin their trip across the school’s campus.
“The Welcome Center has always been on the school’s building plan,” said IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin. IAIA set aside $3.1 million to fund this project, which has been budgeted for sometime, according to the Schematic Design booklet, the official project guide of the new Welcome Center.
“We don’t currently have a front door on campus. The Welcome Center will give us that,” Martin said. He added, currently buildings are not well labeled for those unfamiliar with the campus. The Welcome Center will give all new arrivals a distinct place to begin their campus visit, he said.
The lobby/gallery space is to be the highlight of the design, according to the Schematic Design booklet. Two stories high, with glass walls and modern wire displays, the gallery will be a second space for students to display their works on campus. The first show in the gallery will be a special alumni art show running for the first six months to a year.
The rest of the Welcome Center has been designated for adminstration offices, according to James Mason, IAIA facilities manager. The first floor will house the new offices for the following departments:
- Institutional Advancement
- Human Resources
- Admissions and Recruitment
- Information Technologies (IT)
The second floor will house
- Institutional Research
- President’s Office
All of these departments, except admissions and recruitment, currently reside in the Academic building at the north end of the campus plaza.
According to Martin, not long after their move into the new Welcome Center, the current administration offices will be converted into new studio and classroom space for the studio arts and painting instructors. The Primitive Edge Gallery will also be gaining some extra space by spreading into the current advanced painting studio behind it.
“Having more studio space will allow students to be more creative. Now we can work with larger canvases and spread out,” said Julia Edmonds, a senior in the Studio Art program. Other students the Chronicle spoke to had no comment. One student said that he would be graduating this coming May and wouldn’t use the new building at all.
The Chronicle made multiple attempts to contact various staff and faculty but received no response or opinions on the construction of this new building.
According to Mason the project is three weeks ahead of schedule. Originally the school hoped to have the Welcome Center open to the public in May of 2014 but Martin hopes to move everyone into their new offices by March, no later than April 2014.
(Featured Photo by Gaelyn Hite)
Copyright © IAIA CHRONICLE 2013