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LEWISBURG, Pa. — A groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 13 marked the start of work on infrastructure that will support the construction of Academic West and new student housing south of the Bertrand Library, as outlined in the Bucknell University campus master plan.
Members of the Board of Trustees, which in September approved proceeding with construction of the infrastructure, were on hand for the groundbreaking, along with others in the administration and President John Bravman, who surprised everyone by driving a front-loader during the ceremony. The groundbreaking ceremony featured the ceremonial first moving of earth by Bravman and trustees Ken Freeman, Ellen Bush, Steve Holmes and John Mathias.
"Today begins an exciting new chapter in the history of Bucknell," said Mathias, who is also chair of the board's Building and Grounds Committee. "This is the first step in a series of projects that we all believe will be transformational to this campus."
The infrastructure investment will cost about $17 million and includes utility lines, sewage and water lines, internet lines and other essentials for any new construction.
The goal is to complete construction on Academic West, which will include classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices, by fall 2013. The estimated total cost of the building, based on current construction plans still being refined, is about $24 million.
Bucknell has received a significant gift from a friend of the University totaling $6 million that will be applied toward construction of the building. Fundraising is under way for the remaining costs of the building.
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