New buildings at Barry seen transforming campus ambienceBy Marilyn Bowden
A trio of new buildings at Barry University, financed by a $27 million bond issue, will change the face of the Miami Shores campus, said Tim Czerniec, senior vice president for business & finance.
An "architecturally significant" $11.9 million center for the school's student services division and other amenities will have pride of place, he said, fronting North Miami Avenue in front of the existing health and sports complex.
Mr. Czerniec said plans for the 78,000-square-foot center, designed by Harper Partners, will be considered after Jan 1 by the Village of Miami Shores Planning & Zoning Board.
"North Miami Avenue runs through the heart of the campus," said Harper's Ed Cannon, project director. "The location of the student union is prominent because it's a very important building. It speaks to individual needs."
The center will consist of a three-story office wing, he said, connected to a two-story wing housing a bookstore, dining facilities and the like.
Mr. Cannon said design features represent a departure from existing Barry buildings.
"Its scale is in keeping with the rest of the campus," he said, "but its presentation is somewhat different from what people have become used to seeing at Barry University."
For example, he said, it will have a sweeping curved wall visible to traffic proceeding north on North Miami Avenue.
"It will have a fairly large and active courtyard space on the north side of the building," he said, "that will interconnect to the existing health and sports center, which will give it a significant impact and double its size."
Already built is a $1.6 million, 15,000-square-foot office and classroom structure that just got its certificate of occupancy, Mr. Czerniec said.
"It provides much needed faculty offices and classrooms," he said.
Mr. Cannon said the classroom was meant to be a "background building" and has a simple, economical format.
The third of the new buildings designed for the main campus is a $5 million, 44,000-square-foot residence hall, Mr. Czerniec said.
Mr. Cannon said the 175-bed, L-shaped building will have two wings of three and four stories and will reflect the more traditional dormitory style of student housing rather than the apartment-style housing popular on many campuses today.
Both the residence hall and student center are planned to be ready for the fall 2002 semester.
President & CEO David Harper said Harper Partners created the university's master plan and these projects grew out of that. He said because Mr. Czerniec requested a design-build contract, Harper teamed up with Beauchamp Construction.
The design-build approach allows the university to sign one contract for a completed building rather than having to coordinate the services of an architect and a general contractor.
"We have similar arrangements around the Southeast," Mr. Harper said, "including others with Beauchamp. It's becoming popular. Barry likes it because it enables a turn-key process."
Barry University, a private university founded in 1940 by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, MI, offer bachelor's, master's, law and doctoral degree programs at its 10 schools. It became co-educational in 1975. With a student enrollment of more than 8,300, it operates on an annual budget of more than $100 million.
The $27 million bond issue that will finance the new construction was issued by the Pinellas County Education Facilities Authority on behalf of the university, Mr. Czerniec said, through inter-local agreements with Miami-Dade and Orange counties, a structure that allows for cost savings of about $150,000. Bank of America was the sole managing underwriter.
The university pledged an additional $6 million from private fund raising.
The bond issue will also pay for the $12 million purchase of the university's School of Law campus and assets, formerly the University of Orlando, off SR-50 in Orlando, Mr. Czerniec said. The university has leased it since March 1999.
The Orlando campus covers 20 acres, 12 of which need mitigation, he said. It has four buildings with a total of 72,000 square feet of space, all built within the past 25 years.
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