Ceremonial groundbreaking for Armstrong Student Center

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Construction begins on Miami University's Armstrong Student Center.
A vision more than a decade in the making takes an important and symbolic step Thursday, Oct. 6, when ground is broken for Miami University's much-anticipated Armstrong Student Center.

Open to the public, the ceremonial groundbreaking will take place at 3:30 p.m. in the hub area of Miami’s campus. It will be immediately followed by a public reception at Schiewetz Fine Arts Plaza, which is located in the area behind the Phillip R. Shriver Center. Among those participating are 1961 Miami graduates Mike and Anne Armstrong, whose leadership and $15 million naming gift helped make the vision a reality; Donald Crain, chairman of the Miami University board of trustees; and President David Hodge.

“The Armstrong Student Center represents a remarkable achievement by the Miami University family,” said President Hodge. “From the students who challenged the university to build a focal point for its 21st-century student experience to the alumni and friends who have supported and invested in that dream, we are creating a legacy that will enhance the Miami experience and lead directly to the success of future Miamians.”

More than a traditional lead-up to construction, the groundbreaking will seek to honor the efforts of Miami’s students and supporters. An opening procession will feature representatives of Miami’s more than 400 student-led groups as well as recent Associated Student Government presidents, who were instrumental in voicing the need for the center. The more than 8,000 alumni and friends who have already given toward the center have also been invited back to share in the celebration.

“Anne and I have invested in the success of Miami’s students,” said Mike Armstrong, a former CEO and chairman of AT&T and a current member of Miami’s board of trustees. “We are honored to stand with 8,000 fellow Miamians in providing a vibrant and highly functional center that will strengthen the university, honor Miami’s traditions and bring together the academic and social lives of Miami students. The Armstrong Student Center is an investment in Miami’s next 200 years.”

Scheduled for first-phase completion in 2014, the center has been designed with an emphasis on bringing students together. Located across Spring Street from Shriver Center and bordering Upham Hall and Bishop Woods to the north, the Armstrong Student Center will create a focus for the Miami experience, providing students with opportunities to come together to collaborate, exercise leadership, and connect globally through advanced technologies.

The 203,000 square-foot Armstrong Student Center project includes the renovation and repurposing of Gaskill, Rowan and Culler Halls, which will be merged through the construction of a new central structure. Its signature spaces include a 500-seat theatre, the largest formal event space on campus, and a two-story Center for Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL). Utility work has been ongoing in preparing the construction site, and work recently began on the renovations of Gaskill and Rowan Halls.

To learn more about the groundbreaking event or the center project, contact Susie Brower Sadler, senior director of development, Armstrong Student Center, at 513-529-9217 or sadlers@muohio.edu.