Signed beam placed in Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons

Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach, center, with Guerrieri family members Michael and Marybeth Guerrieri at last week's public signing of the 30-foot-long, 1,000-pound steel beam held in Red Square. Members of the campus and greater communities helped write part of SU history by signing their names to one of the final beams in the Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons.

Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach, center, with Guerrieri family members Michael and Marybeth Guerrieri at last week’s public signing of the 30-foot-long, 1,000-pound steel beam held in Red Square. Members of the campus and greater communities helped write part of SU history by signing their names to one of the final beams in the Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons.

Members of the campus and greater communities helped write part of Salisbury University history last week by signing their names to one of the final beams in the Patricia R. Guerrieri Academic Commons.

The public signing of the 30-foot-long, 1,000-pound steel beam was held in Red Square.  Ultimately, the beam will be placed on the top floor of the 221,000-square-foot building and remain visible from the mechanical room there.

Beam signings have become a tradition at SU in recent years with the Teacher Education and Technology Center (2008) and Perdue Hall (2011).

“The Guerrieri Academic Commons will be the epicenter of academic life on campus, and we expect its programs, services and facilities to become a boon to the greater community as well,” said SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach.  “We want to be inclusive in our celebrations of this remarkable building.”

The GAC will provide much-needed space for the library, including a new and expanded home for its popular Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture.  Community members will be welcome to use the library and its Nabb Center, as well as attend events in an Assembly Hall, which will accommodate up to 400.

Students also are expected to benefit from having key academic services under the same roof, a few steps away from the library.  They are the Center for Student Achievement, a centralized Information Technology Help Desk, Math Emporium, Writing Center and 24-hour study space.  A faculty center, graduate commons, and Office of Instructional Design and Delivery will enhance collaboration.

In location and prominence, the GAC will serve as a new “front door” for the campus.  Planners predict this reconfiguration of University classroom, research and study spaces will be transformative.

The largest academic building in SU history, the technology-rich structure costs $117 million. The regional economic impact of the construction is estimated at $238 million, supporting 350 local jobs.  Backed by an $8 million private gift from the Guerrieri Family Foundation, it is expected to open fall 2016.

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