ST. LEO — A new academic building is about to begin taking shape at Saint Leo University.
University officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking event Friday for the four-story building, which is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015 and will house 16 classrooms, 24 faculty offices and additional academic program space.
The new facility will replace the 53-year-old old Crawford Hall, which is being demolished.
The $14 million construction project represents a significant upgrade in space. The new building will be 48,000 square feet, compared to 8,000 square feet for Crawford.
In addition to the classrooms and offices, the building’s other amenities will include a learning resource center with a computer lab, a disability services office, a mail room, a living-room style gathering space for students and a conference room.
Initially, all the activities will be on the first three floors because the fourth floor won’t be built out immediately, the university said.
The new building’s design will complement the Spanish Mission style of the nearby Donald R. Tapia School of Business building, which opened in 2011.
The architect is Gould Evans of Tampa and the general contractor is Creative Contractors Inc. of Clearwater.
In recent years, the Saint Leo University campus has seen numerous changes, including the addition of two residential facilities, a parking garage and the school of business building.