Prairie View, Texas — The Prairie View A&M University will host the official grand opening ceremonies for their School of Architecture’s new Architecture and Art facility on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005. The official opening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with remarks by President George C. Wright, architect Michael Rotondi, and other university officials including Dean Ikhlas Sabouni.
The School of Architecture began the fall semester in its new three-story, 105,000 square-foot building. Designed by world renowned architect, Michael Rotondi, in partnership with HKS Architects, the building offers unique teaching areas within the central atrium canyon space and the galleries allowing for greater faculty and student interaction during classroom hours and non classroom hours. Prominently located at the front of campus, the new facility provides opportunities for greater exposure and visibility to the School’s programs in architecture, art, construction science and community development and promotes more extensive community collaborations.
“The importance of this building for architectural education in the state of Texas can not be overlooked. The state’s ever-increasing population and changing demographics are factors that contribute to the need to increase the number of registered architects. This is particularly important for female and minority practitioners where the state falls far below the national averages,” Dean Ikhlas Sabouni said.
The building houses design studios, a 135-seat lecture theater, equipped with a state of the art projection and sound recording equipment, along with both a flat and curved panel screen for special projection events, a new model shop that will soon be outfitted with an assortment of wood and metalworking tools, as well as dedicated computer and teaching laboratories.
Following the official ceremony, guests will enjoy a reception, open house, and tours until 8:00 p.m. An exhibit coordinated by the Texas Institute for the Preservation of History and Culture, “Uncommon Ground” will open to the public in the gallery space. An art exhibit featuring the paintings representing the rich visual heritage of African-American and other cultures from such renowned artists as Sam Gillian, Remare Breaden, Charles White and John Biggers will also be on display. Students and faculty members will be available throughout the building to answer questions about their course of study and current studio design assignments.
HKS Architects, based in Dallas, Texas, currently employs six recent PVAMU Architecture graduates.
About the School of Architecture
The School of Architecture at Prairie View A&M University is one of eight accredited architecture programs in the state of Texas and the only architecture program at an historically black university in the state. Studies in architecture began in the 1920’s and were housed in the College of Engineering. In 1977, the first professional Bachelor of Architecture degrees were awarded. In 1986 the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents changed the name to the College of Engineering and Architecture and the program gained membership in the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). The architecture program received its initial accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in June 1992 and has maintained accreditation since that time offering both bachelors and masters degrees.
Prairie View A&M University is the second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. Offering baccalaureate degrees in 50 academic majors, 35 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees, this Historically Black University has an established reputation for providing thousands of African American engineers, nurses and educators. A member of the Texas A&M University System, the University has been dedicated to fulfilling its land-grant mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research and service for nearly 130 years.