188,000-square-foot structure plus five-level underground garage will be largest campus building to date
Belmont University broke ground this morning on the campus’ largest building to date, a 188,000-square-foot academic center situated on the corner of Wedgewood and 15th Avenues. The building will house most departments from the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the School of Religion, providing much-needed classroom and lab space for the growing University. Slated to open in fall 2014 and anticipated to cost $76.5 million, the new building is being designed and built by locally-owned companies—Earl Swensson Associates (ESa) and R.C. Mathews—and will create jobs for hundreds in Middle Tennessee. A five-level underground parking garage will also provide approximately 430 additional parking spaces, and the facility will connect on three floors to both the Inman Center and McWhorter Hall.
“The building establishes a new cornerstone for Belmont University and provides a true reflection of who we are,” said Belmont President Bob Fisher. “It will sit as a beacon on the northeast edge of campus, offering a perfect view of the Nashville skyline and inviting Nashville and the world to come and see what Belmont is all about: providing an academically challenging liberal arts education in a Christian community of learning and service.”
Since Belmont’s general education/core curriculum requires courses in writing, speech, math and religion, among others, every undergraduate will take classes in the new academic center. In addition, the center will house a 280-seat chapel, a dining venue, 30 classrooms that vary in seating capacity, state-of the-art laboratories and conference room space.
Dr. Thomas Burns, who serves as Belmont’s Provost overseeing all academic programs, added that the building’s design has been a campus-wide effort. “We began this process in the fall with a blank canvas, recognizing that we needed additional academic space but carefully considering which areas to prioritize. Through ongoing conversations and collaboration with students, faculty and staff, we’ve honed in on Belmont’s most urgent needs in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Religion. With their input, we’ve drawn plans for a building that will enable interdisciplinary studies and experiential learning while also representing the latest thinking in classroom space.”
Wedgewood Academic Center Features
1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37212
About Belmont UniversityRanked No. 7 in the Regional Universities South category and named for the fifth consecutive year as one of the top “Up-and-Comer” universities by U.S. News & World Report, Belmont University consists of approximately 6,650 students who come from every state and 25 countries. Committed to being a leader among teaching universities, Belmont brings together the best of liberal arts and professional education in a Christian community of learning and service. The university’s purpose is to help students explore their passions and develop their talents to meet the world’s needs, a fact made evident in the University’s hometown, Nashville, where students served more than 60,000 hours of community service (valued at $450,000) during the last academic year. Belmont is also home to the World Cup champion Enactus team, a group of 42 student leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better, more sustainable world. With more than 80 areas of study, 23 master’s programs and five doctoral degrees, there is no limit to the ways Belmont University can expand an individual's horizon. For more information visit www.belmont.edu