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NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A black-and-white copy of the architectural renderings is available from Purdue News Service, (765) 494-2096.

Renderings shown publicly for new BCC facility

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue University officials today (Saturday, 10/19) unveiled architectural renderings for the new $3 million Black Cultural Center at the West Lafayette campus.

The drawings, by Blackburn Architects of Indianapolis, were displayed during a BCC tailgate party during Purdue's homecoming weekend.

The new facility will be built on the northwest corner of Third and Russell streets near the campus on land provided by the university. The two-story, 10,000-square-foot structure will be almost twice the size of the current center, which was dedicated in December 1970.

Using traditional African design elements, the new center features a domed central area that houses a lounge and a reading room. Other main rooms include an expanded art and gallery space, a computer laboratory, spacious storage and rehearsal areas for the BCC's four performing arts ensembles, and office space for student organizations such as the Black Greek Council.

The main entrance is situated between a cubical and a cylindrical form. To incorporate textures and materials typically found in African villages, the center will draw on geometric patterns and rough, natural textures for walls and other surfaces.

"This new center reaffirms Purdue's dedication to diversity," Marcus Clarke, a Ford Motor Co. executive and chairman of the Fund-Raising Advisory Committee for the new center, said earlier. "Most companies are more global, servicing markets all over the world that comprise various cultures, backgrounds, ethnicity and religions. The demographics in this country also are changing. The Black Cultural Center is a keystone in Purdue's efforts to make sure its graduates clearly understand and value diversity."

In addition to Clarke, others making remarks at the unveiling were Renee Thomas, director of the Black Cultural Center; Purdue President Steven C. Beering; and Walter S. Blackburn, owner of Blackburn Architects.

The architectural renderings will be put on display in late October at three campus locations: next to the Stripe Shop on the ground floor of Purdue Memorial Union, by the Stewart Center ticket office, and at the Black Cultural Center, 315 University St.

The fund drive for the new center has a $1 million commitment in private gift funds from Purdue. Members of the fund-raising committee have begun calling on major prospective donors.

The center serves about 35,000 people each year through its performing arts ensembles, speaker series, tours and other programs.


Sources: Marcus Clarke, (313) 322-9231; home, (313) 331-1748; e-mail,

Renee Thomas, (765) 494-3092; e-mail,

Writer: Ellen Rantz, (765) 494-2073; home, (765) 497-0345; e-mail,

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