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Quinnipiac University
 

Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University was founded in 1929 by Samuel W. Tator, a business professor, politician and the first president of the academy.  Samuel Tator’s wife, Irmagarde Tator, a Mount Holyoke College graduate, and Judge Philip Troup, a Yale College graduate and first bursar of the school, also had a major influence in the founding and fostering of this institution.

In response to Northeastern University’s closure of its New Haven program, Quinnipiac, which was known as Connecticut College of Commerce at the time, was created in New Haven, Connecticut.  Upon opening the school in 1929, only 200 students were admitted and only associate degrees could be achieved.  Connecticut College of Commerce graduated its first class with only a scarce amount of eight students. 

In 1935, the institution changed its name to Junior College of Commerce.  Unfortunately, in 1943 the college was closed down, as almost the entire student body was drafted into World War II.  The college was re-opened in 1945 and its admissions quadrupled to around 800 students.  In 1951, Junior College of Commerce was renamed to Quinnipiac College, honoring the Quinnipiac Indians that once inhabited the Greater New Haven area.  That same year, Quinnipiac was changed to a four year college and began to offer bachelor’s degrees.  In 1951, Quinnipiac College expanded both physically and academically, relocating their campus to a larger location in New Haven and assuming administrative control of Larson College, a private women’s college in the area.

In 1966, construction of Quinnipiac’s current campus, located in Hamden, Connecticut, began.   The campus is situated in the Mount Carmel area, at the foot of the Sleeping Giant Mountain located in Sleeping Giant State Park.  And within the next few years, Quinnipiac College began to offer master’s degrees in a variety of different   majors.

Quinnipiac University Carl Hansen Student CenterUntil the 1990s, Quinnipiac continued primarily as a commuter college, receiving only regional accreditation and having only a regionally known reputation.  However, that all changed in 1995 when Reverend Sun Yung Moon, a Korean religious cult leader, purchased the University of Bridgeport for $50 million.  The University of Bridgeport Law School moved to Quinnipiac becoming the Quinnipiac School of Law.  The American Bar Association accredited Quinnipiac College to award the Juris Doctor degree.   Also during the mid 1990s, the Quinnipiac School of Law Center was donated and the Ed McMahon Communication Center and Lender School of Business buildings were built, which are state of the art facilities that attracted not only an array of students from across the country, but also nationally renowned professors.

In order to reflect and honor this relatively new expansion in academic excellence, the college officially changed its name to Quinnipiac University on July 1st, 2000 and received accreditation by the AACSB, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Now, Quinnipiac University is recognized as a private, coeducational university with around 6,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students.  It is consistently ranked among the best universities by U.S News & World Report.  Currently, Quinnipiac offers 52 undergraduate majors, 20 graduate programs and a JD program.  The university is most widely known for its esteemed programs in arts and sciences, business, communications, and health sciences.  Quinnipiac gains public media attention through its nationally noted Polling Institute.

Centerbrook Architect and Planners, located in Centerbrook, Connecticut, is responsible for the planning and design of the Quinnipiac University campus.  Centerbrook was started in 1975 as a community of architects working together to advance the construction and design of American places.  From its beginning, Centerbrook has not only worked to advance planning and architecture, but has strived to make innovative detail and memorable buildings in America.  Centerbrook houses its firm as well as its vital center of experimentation at its nineteenth-century historic compound of mill buildings located on the Falls River in Centerbrook, CT.  It is at this location where the firm experiments with planning and design.  It hosts lectures and presentations on how to make its projects distinct and how to perfect the craft of building and green design.  Centerbrook has a large array of solar panels, whose grand opening, around 2007, was attended by Senator Joe Lieberman.

QU Library Steps - Stony Creek graniteCenterbrook has been the campus architect for Quinnipiac University for over thirty years, since 1978, when the firm designed a campus-wide master plan. Quinnipiac University had begun building the campus sixteen years earlier with minimal facilities, all of which had been built on a very limited budget.  The Quinnipiac campus was in dire need of improvement and enhancement.  Centerbrook's aim was to give the campus an appearance that could be easily comprehended, an image that would be memorable, and a sociability that would attract prospective students and commit those already enrolled.

Centerbrook’s use of Stony Creek Granite was essential in achieving this desired look for the Quinnipiac University campus.  Charles Mueller, Principal of Architecture and Design at the Centerbrook firm, is very knowledgeable about the overall convenience of this stone.  Stony Creek Granite is not only distinct and attractive looking with its light rose, stone appearance, but it is also of high quality, easy to work with, inexpensive and very reliable.  On top of these qualities, the granite is also locally quarried at the Stony Creek Quarry in Branford, CT.  This eliminates the issue concerning material being shipped from across the country or overseas. 

Because of its advantageous features, Stony Creek Granite can be found all around the Quinnipiac University campus.  Not only can it be seen on the larger buildings such as the stairs of the Arnold Bernhard Library and within the archway of the Lender School of Business/Communications Center, but it can also be found, more recently, in the entranceway of the Carl Hansen Student Center, in the Residence Halls, on sitting walls and benches throughout the entirety of the campus and stone piers used strictly for embellishment.

Darrell Petit, a sculptor who works directly with the stone at the Stony Creek Granite quarry in Branford, CT, was able to give more details about the actual quarry and how the stone itself is quarried.  The stone is dug, drilled and/or cut from the quarry straight out of the ground in huge slabs.  The slabs of Stony Creek are then sent to suppliers around the Northeast who cut the stone into its appropriate size in order to distribute to contractors and construction.  Centerbrook is a company of architects only.  The firm works with Quinnipiac University to design a master plan for the campus, created with the participation of the University community during a series of design workshops and presentations.  The architects then send the design decided upon to local construction companies who price or bid on construction of the design.  Quinnipiac as an institution decides which company to work with based on the price. 

Recently, Quinnipiac has worked with Banton Construction, a local construction company based out of North Haven.  Banton Construction Company was founded in 1979 and since then has emerged as one of the leading contractors in the Connecticut market.  Specifically since 2009, Banton has been constructing the renovations and additions to the Dining Hall and Carl Hansen Student Center, both of which designs include Stony Creek Granite.  Overall, FIP Construction, another local construction company from Cheshire, CT, has been a large contributor to the construction and assembly of the campus.  FIP Construction was responsible for the production of buildings such as the Ed McMahon Communications Center, Lender School of Business, the Bobcat Den (formally known as the Rathskeller Student Center), The Arnold Bernhard Library, Gymnasium/Recreation Center, Echlin Health Sciences Building and the Residential Halls.

To date, Centerbrook has designed and built thirty projects at Quinnipiac University totaling over $100 million in construction cost and ranging in scope from new buildings to outdoor suntraps to renovations and additions of existing buildings, all within the guidelines of this simple plan and most consisting in some way of the remarkable Stony Creek Granite.  Specific renovations include their current addition and expansion to the Dining Hall and Student Center, the creation of the TD Bank Sports Center, as well as their remarkable addition to the Arnold Bernhard Library,  

With its increasingly expanding student body, Quinnipiac felt necessary to increase the size of the Carl Hansen Student Center in order to efficiently provide the appropriate needs for all students.  The renovation of the student center includes the expansion of dining area and remodeling of the main classroom building, Tator Hall, as well as the multi-purpose Alumni Hall building.  Renovations are still in process and close to completion, although some problems were faced along the way.  When constructing the renovations to the Student Center, the Stony Creek Granite seemed different than Stony Creek Granite used in past projects.   The appearance was dissimilar and the texture was more rough than usual.  As it turns out, the stone installed under the windows around the student center the winter before last was not real Stony Creek Granite.  The contractor was given counterfeit stone quarried somewhere in Canada.  Over $100,000 worth of stone was rejected, which set the project back significantly.  Quinnipiac hopes to have a fully remodeled student center by the start of the school year in August, 2011. 

The TD Bank Sports Center, located on Quinnipiac University’s supplementary campus on York Hill, held its grand opening January 27, 2007.  Replacing Burt Kahn Court and the Northford Ice Pavilion, the Sport Center is one of only four arenas in the Northeast having a rare design that consists of twin arenas – a hockey rink on one side and a basketball court of the opposite.

The project cost $52 million to build and is part of Quinnipiac’s most ambitious plan thus far with the aim at improving its drawing power for Division I student athletes and perhaps moving up into a larger league than the Northeast Conference.

Inadequately built in 1969, the library on Quinnipiac’s campus was nowhere near sufficient enough for the growth and development expected from Quinnipiac University as a whole.  Centerbrook’s idea was to renovate the library into a place where knowledge could flourish, as well as create an atmosphere that fit the needs of Quinnipiac students and faculty.  The remodeling began in the early summer of 1996 and opened as the brand new Arnold Bernhard Library in August, 2000.  Quinnipiac’s library is named after Arnold Bernhard, the founder and former chief executive officer of Value Line, Inc., a New York corporation, founded in 1982.  The Company’s primary businesses are producing the world’s largerst investment advisory service through Value Line Publishing, Inc.  It is best known for publishing The Value Line Investment Survey, a weekly updated stock analysis newsletter. Bernhard’s son, A. Van H. Bernhard, made the library renovation project possible by donating $1 million for the library project and an additional $3 million for the University’s endowment in 1997.  This donation was the largest in the University’s history.  The signature clock tower was built during the renovation which is now the focal point of the University and changed the overall icon of the school.  Additionally, the signature Stony Creek Granite stepping proscenium was part of these renovations as well.

In addition to the outstanding design of Quinnipiac’s campus, Centerbrook has also used Stony Creek Granite in places such as Yale University’s Library and their newly renovated Tennis Center.  Furthermore, Centerbrook contributed greatly to the campus at the University of Connecticut located in Storrs, CT, specifically including the School of Business, which also makes use of Stony Creek Granite.  All of these building include stone quarried at the Stony Creek Quarry in Branford, CT.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 November 2010 11:09  

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