Brick goes up on new Brite building

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    The construction of the Harrison Building at the Brite Divinity School is on schedule and will be ready for students and faculty by January 2012, Newell Williams, president of the Brite Divinity School said.

    Construction began in January and has had no significant delays for weather or any sort of problems, Williams said.

    The 24,000 sq. foot building will house nine additional classrooms, a reading area for graduate students, office space, and a laboratory where students will be able to practice preaching, Williams said.

    In addition to new classrooms with updated technology and amenities, Williams said he was excited about the ability for the building to house university functions. The first floor will act as a reception area. While the area would not have as many events as the Brown Lupton University-Union, he said it will be nice to have events in the school itself.

    “One would be able to have some kind of service in Robert Carr Chapel and come down those steps into the plaza area, and immediately into the conference center where there could be meetings, receptions or a meal,” he said.

    The new additions will also have a plaza with a garden in between the Moore Building, he said.

    Upon the building’s completion, TCU Chief of Police Steve McGee said the university would get about 30 parking spots back in the lot that was blocked off for the construction.

    Williams said an additional academic building had been proposed for the school beginning in 1968, but that other more important initiatives put a new building on hold.

    “In ’68, the trustees at Brite knew they needed more academic space, but in the 70s and 80s they spent their time raising money for scholarships. And in the 90s, they raised money for Leibrock Village, the student housing complex,” Williams said.

    It was the beginning of the 2000s, when the Trustees of the Brite Divinity School decided to raise funds for an additional building, and by 2010, the trustees had finally raised enough.

    “I think it’s going to be a marvelous addition to TCU campus. I think the building that is being completed is more interesting and is a more usable space than the one that was envisioned back in 1968,” he said. “What’s going up in the Harrison building is, I suppose, the third idea of what that new building might have looked like. And I think there are always advantages to what you learn along the way.”

    Williams said the new building would also allow for easy access between the parts of the Brite School.

    So far, Williams said the reaction from students and faculty members has been positive.

    “Much of the construction has happened since the semester ended,” he said. “But as I do encounter faculty, students and staff, they’re excited about the fact that we’ll have this additional space and we’ll have it soon.”