COE Building Connects GCU’s Present, Past

January 14, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

By Doug Carroll
Communications Staff

GCU’s largest college celebrated the opening of its new home on Thursday — and what a home it is.

A formal dedication was held for the new College of Education building, which opened to classes on Jan. 5. The two-story facility, wedged gracefully between the library and Fleming, has 19 classrooms and represents a permanent destination for the college, which has bounced around over the years.

GCU CEO Brian Mueller, Provost Cheri St. Arnauld and COE Dean Kimberly LaPrade cut the ceremonial ribbon for the new COE building.

Dr. Kimberly LaPrade, the college’s new dean, noted at the dedication that the college had been headquartered in Buildings 5 and 6 and even on the North Campus.

Representatives of the Arizona Department of Education, the architectural firm Architekton and Pono Construction joined GCU administration, faculty and staff at the grand opening. Pono also built the Canyon Hall dormitory, which opened last August.

Brian Mueller, GCU’s chief executive officer, said the COE building is a significant addition to the growing campus.

“Grand Canyon has such a rich history in its education program,” Mueller said. “If you needed a schoolteacher, Grand Canyon has been the place to get one. This (facility) is a way to connect the present with the past.”

Guests were impressed with the building’s amenities, which include ample common areas for students to study, collaborate and socialize.

That was part of the plan, according to Tom Reilly of Architekton, the Tempe-based design firm.

“The classrooms were the easy part,” Reilly said. “The spaces gluing them together are where the magic happens, where you can have the casual encounters that change lives. That’s what the university experience is about.”

Reilly described the building’s east side as the “front porch” to the 5,000-seat Arena now under construction. The west side integrates seamlessly with the Promenade, thanks largely to a “glassroom” on the ground floor that affords a nice view up the main walkway on campus, toward the Student Union.

Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or at [email protected].

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