Rendering of the O39Neill Graduate Center under construction at Indiana University Bloomington Indiana University Bloomington

Rendering of the O'Neill Graduate Center under construction at Indiana University Bloomington.

Indiana University breaks ground on facility for Public and Environmental Affairs school

The Paul O'Neill Graduate Center will provide needed space for the growing School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Indiana University Bloomington has broken ground on the Paul H. O'Neill Graduate Center at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The university says the $12 million, 28,000-square-foot facility will be built next to the school's SPEA's existing building and is aiming to receive LEED Gold certification for its environmentally friendly design and construction.

The building will provide technologically advanced learning and meeting spaces for graduate programs in public affairs, environmental management and environmental science. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2017.

Private donations will pay for about half of the building's construction, including a $3 million gift from Paul H. O'Neill, an Indiana alumnus and former U.S. secretary of the treasury.

The School of Public and Environmental Affairs has grown significantly since it was founded in 1972. Its existing home was built in 1982 but no longer has enough space to meet the school's needs.

"The center will give our students and faculty room to collaborate," says John D. Graham, dean of the school. "The classrooms and meeting spaces will have the latest technology yet nurture old-fashioned face-to-face conversation. The design is sleek and modern, yet warm and inviting. It will be a powerful magnet as we continue to recruit the very best graduate students and faculty members worldwide."

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