Six months after ground was broken on a $13 million New Academic Building and Performing Arts Project, dreams are taking shape on the Lawrenceville campus.

Six months after breaking ground on its New Academic Building and Bart Luedeke Center Theater expansion, Rider University’s Lawrenceville campus already has a visibly different silhouette than it did in the spring.

Situated just north of Moore Library, the steel framework of the New Academic Building recently began to reveal its signature elliptical roofline, making it easy to imagine the completed building that will begin to house classes in the summer of 2011.

The 21,250-square-foot academic building and plaza next to the Franklin F. Moore Library and Memorial Hall will feature 12 classrooms/seminar rooms, including a 150-seat lecture hall, and 15 faculty and departmental offices. The adjacent Memorial Hall will also receive a functional renovation to improve HVAC systems and energy performance in the 50-year-old structure.

The New Academic Building will be built to meet Silver certification standards by The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

Improvements to the Bart Luedeke Center Theater are also moving swiftly along, remaining on target for its August 1, 2011, completion date. The shape of the existing BLC, originally constructed in 1970, has morphed to divulge the footprint of the 11,000-square-foot expansion of its auditorium. When finished, the facility will include a full teaching and production theater with seating for 350, as well as additional stage depth, a “set fly” with wings, two dressing rooms, a green room, set shop, several offices and practice space for performances in additional to enhanced lighting and sound in the theater.

The majority of the funds used for this project come from donations, including a generous bequest from Franklin B. Moore II, the son and grandson of Rider presidents also named Franklin Moore. The project was designed by Spiezle Architectural Group, Inc., an award-winning, full-service architecture, planning, and design firm from Trenton, that has emerged as a leader in environmentally friendly construction.