Dillard breaks ground for innovative project

It was the perfect day for the perfect cause. The weather was sunny yet windy as Dr. Marvalene Hughes, president of Dillard, and members of the Student Government Association stood before a crowd wearing their construction hats and holding shovels ready to break ground for the Professional Schools and Science Building. The Ground Breaking Ceremony was held the morning of Nov. 9 near the gravel lot adjacent to the Samuel DuBois Cook Center. Members of Dillard’s Board of Trustees, students, faculty and staff, gathered for the occasion as Dean John Wilson spoke upon the essence of the forthcoming building. “This is not a dream deferred,” sad Wilson. The Professional Schools and Science Building will house divisions including Natural Sciences, Nursing, Public Health and business. The building will be a modern 21st century, 160,000 square foot facility, which will be LEED- (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. LEED is a green building rating system that the U.S Green Building Council developed. LEED rates certified projects that have a purpose of unifying the environment, economic development, and occupant efficiency. LEED buildings provide little to no operational cost for the up keep of the building and are energy and water efficient. Also LEED buildings are well known for having higher leasing rates than conventional buildings within their markets. LEED buildings provide a safer and healthier environment for their occupants and the physical appearance of the buildings reflect the values and objectives of the schools that occupy them. “The building will provide the university with advanced technology and academic excellence while attracting the best students and expanding the faculty,” said Michael Griffin, president of the Dillard University National Alumni Association. “This is the heartbeat of the ‘new’ Dillard, the lifeblood of our pathway into the future,” said Dr. Hughes. “We are fearless and unwavering in our dedication to academic excellence and this project will further strengthen our mandate to serve our students and prepare them for global leadership. This is a prodigious structure that will endure for generations to come.” This project will direct Dillard University into the right path of continued academic excellence and provide students with opportunities they thought they would not have. It is projected that the building will be complete by January 2010.

“The new building will prepare our students to become active participants in the bio medical industry that is coming to the city of New Orleans in the next five years,” said Crispus Gordon III, vice president of SGA.