New College Celebrates Groundbreaking for Public Archaeology Laboratory

Post Date and Author:

(March 8, 2010)  Clear skies and plenty of sunshine greeted more than 150 faculty, students, staff and visitors to campus today as New College of Florida celebrated the groundbreaking for the College’s new Public Archaeology Lab. Nestled among Hong Kong orchid trees and towering pines, the new lab features more than 1,600 square feet of classroom, office and storage space for faculty and student research on local and regional history. The facility is expected to open in July 2010.

“Today, we celebrate the construction of a facility that will allow the bright, motivated students of New College the opportunity to analyze and interpret the data of archaeology.  But a lab for processing the results of archaeology is only a building,” said New College anthropology professor Uzi Baram in his remarks to the crowd. “Through this building, students also will have the chance to see the contemporary ethics of archaeology in action.”

Baram stressed that the new facility marks an important commitment on behalf of New College to work with the local community to help expand understanding of the region’s past.

Joining Baram as speakers for the groundbreaking event were New College President Mike Michalson; Provost Charlene Callahan; Vice President for Finance and Administration John Martin; principal architect for the project, Paul Portal, of Long & Associates; John LaCivita, vice president of Willis A. Smith Construction, the general contractors for the project; Sherry Svekis, New College alumna and president of Time Sifters Archaeological Society; Andrew Walker, president of the New College Foundation; and New College students Roz Crews and Liz Usherwood. New College political science professor and Florida State Representative Keith Fitzgerald was scheduled to speak at the event but could not attend because of legislative business in Tallahassee.

In addition to the traditional gold shovel moment, a festive and commemorative air was added to the event by students, who buried a time capsule at the site. Included in the capsule were items celebrating the moment, such as maps and photos of the campus in its current configuration, plus an assortment of fun items celebrating current New College culture. The latter included everything from letters from current students to students of the future, foam footballs bearing New College’s trademark “Still Undefeated” slogan, and a bottle opener. The time capsule is scheduled to be opened in 2060.

Funds for the design and construction of New College’s new Public Archaeology Laboratory, which total slightly more than $500,000, were provided by the State of Florida ($190,000), New College ($225,000) and a $225,000 FIPSE grant from US Department of Education. FIPSE stands for Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education. A total of $100,000 from the FIPSE grant will be used to purchase equipment for the new building, while the remaining $125,000 is being used to develop community programming associated with the lab.

For more information on New College’s new Public Archaeology Lab, please contact the Office of Public Affairs at (941) 487-4153 or email [email protected].