FAMS building under way

The building at the corner of N 3rd and Snyder is to be remodeled to serve as Lafayette’s new home for Film and Media Studies.

The building at the corner of N 3rd and Snyder is to be remodeled to serve as Lafayette’s new home for Film and Media Studies.

William Gordon

Photo by Austin Drucker ‘17| The Lafayette

The Former Case’s Tire building for Lafayette College’s Film and Media Studies and Theatre departments was recently conditionally approved by Easton’s Historical District Commission and by City Council, according to Rosemary Huggan, the technical services specialist. Huggan spoke on behalf of Mary Wilford-Hunt, the Director of Facilities Planning and Construction.

According to the Lafayette College website, geotechnical considerations caused delays and the proposition of a new building at the Former Case’s Tire site.

Changes to the design of the building were in question with the Historical District Commission, but after a meeting with the commission in late September, the designs were contingently approved. Cindy Cawley, the chief codes and zoning administrator of the city of Easton, was contacted for an interview but did not respond. Also, the Historic District Commission’s consultant, Christine Ussler, was contacted to comment on the recent decisions by the commission, but did not respond by deadline.

“We are actively seeking approvals from Easton’s Planning Commission, the Zoning Hearing Board and by the Department of Environmental Protection of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Huggan wrote in an email to The Lafayette.

“Assuming the regulatory approvals are received as expected, the estimated schedule for construction completion is approximately May 2015, with occupancy and classes ready for that fall of 2015.”

“On the one hand, I’d love to be in this building yesterday,” Professor Andy Smith, the chair of the Film and Media Studies program, said about the progress of the building. However, he expressed acceptance and patience with the project.

“You know, this is a good problem to have. I mean we’ve got to make sure the community is happy, the historic board is happy… We want to do it right… We’re progressing and, you know, this is a great thing,” Smith continued.

Smith said the Faculty Steering Committee has been working closely with Wilford-Hunt about the needs of the professors and students in the building in relation to the designs. He wants to find ways to get others involved in the new buildings, as well, including engineers, scientists, and others in the humanities and social sciences.

As the Former Case’s Tier building still seeks approval, the construction of the Mohican Building is already underway. The building is expected to house a state-of-the-art television and video production studio among other facilities, according to the Lafayette website.

“We are pleased to report that noticeable progress is being made on the Williams Arts Campus project,” Huggan wrote.