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No decision made on new building’s occupants

After a semester-long conversation among senior leadership, faculty and students, it is still unclear which Belmont departments and programs will be housed in the announced major academic building on 15th and Wedgewood avenues.

While a final decision has not been made about who will be housed in the building, one should be expected “in the next few weeks” by the university’s senior leadership team of President Dr. Bob Fisher, Provost Dr. Thomas Burns, and five university vice presidents, said Burns in an email sent to the Vision.

Despite the current uncertainty about the contents of the new building, changes have been made on its future lot. The houses formerly on these lots were demolished during winter break, and the area is currently being used for parking.

Groundbreaking for the building will “likely occur at or slightly after the end of the spring semester,” depending on the future discussions, Burns said.

During the fall semester, Burns and Dr. Bryce Sullivan, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, facilitated meetings among faculty and students in every CAS school about potential features and elements of the new, unnamed building.

“The proposals were thoughtful, insightful and well-grounded. They will be extremely helpful in how the building is designed and will have great impact on the function of the building,” Burns said.

The process and proposals from the university community were very beneficial to both the community and the decision-making process, Sullivan said.

“Overall, I think people were happy there was an open process,” he said. “It was nice to have their input. They were very engaged.”

The Student Government Association provided the major element of student perspective in the process, Burns said. Their proposal, available on their BruinLink page, advocated for a multi-functional building that includes areas for study, dining, and experiential learning and has characteristics and features distinctive to the university.

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