SIPA II: “Doubling Down” And Breaking Ground

University administrators and construction managers break ground at the site of the future SIPA II building. Gerard Albert III/PantherNOW

By: Joshua Ceballos/Investigative Editor


The SIPA building is getting a new twin sibling, as groundbreaking officially began for SIPA II- a new building coming to the Modesto Maidique Campus.

This Tuesday, Oct. 15, University officials and special guests broke ground outside the Steven J. Green School of Public Affairs building for the construction of SIPA II, the next phase in the school’s development.

The new building will be built west of the original, connected by a new courtyard that’s replacing the lake between SIPA  and the Labor Center. The lake will be filled in to make space for the courtyard and SIPA II.

Documents from University Facilities show that SIPA II was part of the campus’ master plan since the original SIPA building was built in 2008, envisioned to be a “twin building” once finances allowed for its construction.

University President Mark B. Rosenberg told guests at the ceremony that FIU is “doubling down” on education, and SIPA II is a big part of that process. He also gave some historical signifigance to the site of the new building.

“The original groundbreaking of FIU happened right next to this spot, so this project comes full circle for our mission: the ‘I’ in Florida International University,” said Rosenberg.

Ambassador Steven J. Green, the namesake for the school,  was present at the groundbreaking and told PantherNOW about his excitement for the event and his love for the University.

“I’ve become pessimistic from watching the news, but when I come to FIU I’m full of optimism,” said Green. “The students are full of life and promise, and it’s an inspiration to me.”

Architecture company Harvard Jolly designed the building and Thornton Construction Company, Inc. is handling the construction of SIPA II. The School of International and Public Affairs will share the space with the expanding FIU Online office.

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