Design Matters At Saint Leo's New Business College

Creative Contractors of Clearwater is working with Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects of Lakeland to build a new College of Business building on Pasco County's Saint Leo University campus. The building will be ready for fall classes in August 2011.

According to Lisa Milam, an architect with Lunz Prebor, the building's design aligns with the teaching method ushered in by new technology.

"The classrooms sit on the exterior," says Milam. "Offices and gathering space is located in the center. We tried to break down the barriers of traditional university design. It was kind of forward thinking on Saint Leo's part. They wanted students and professors to work collaboratively; more as peers."

"The classroom has no front," continues Milam. "White boards surround the perimeter. Each classroom flows toward the center. Casual seating kind of incites people to go and use those spaces. So if they want to continue a discussion after class, they can do that right there. Usually people don't put that extra space in an academic building."

According to Milam, the university plans to implement software that will continue to encourage more integrative and interactive learning.

"Lectures and programs will use collaborative software. that allows students to interact from their laptops and utilize cell conferencing. They can talk from one classroom to another and save a whole lecture to download at their leisure."

Milam says the designers of the $9 million, 50,000-square-foot building are shooting for gold LEED certification.

"Inside the building we introduced light shelves on the inside of the windows to bounce the light further into the classrooms, which are on the exterior, so they already have a lot of natural light. This gives them extra light."

Source: Lisa Milam, Lunz Prebor Fowler Architects
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh

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