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LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA-Lincoln University broke ground on its new $26.1 million international cultural center. Designed by Dagit Saylor Architects of Philadelphia, the building will be constructed by Skanska USA Building Inc. It is scheduled for completion and occupancy by spring 2009.

The 60,000-sf ICC will feature an 1,100-seat performing arts auditorium, conference rooms, a language laboratory and an art gallery. “This is about enhancing the environment for learning,” the university’s director of communications tells GlobeSt.com. “It’s important to build buildings and make sure your campus is updated with all the latest equipment.” He adds that the cultural center will “enrich students’ lives and experiences through the gallery, which will house our own art collection.”

As schools compete for the top students, the addition of the new ICC building has a practical aspect as well. “To attract students, you need to update the campus with new buildings and new technology,” the spokesperson explains. “Students look at those things when they’re making decisions about what school they want to attend.”

Approximately $19 million of the building’s budget will go towards construction costs. This will be the second building Skanska USA does for Lincoln—the company is already building the school’s $40.5 million science building, which broke ground in October 2007. That building is scheduled for delivery in the fall.

According to Ball, funds for the building came from alumni and individual donations as well as from the state of Pennsylvania. Lincoln is a “state-related” school in that it receives public funds and offers reduced tuition for Pennsylvania students but is run independently.

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