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October 22, 2013

Cleveland Institute of Art awards construction contract to Panzica

New building will be adjoined to McCullough building in Uptown neighborhood, reuniting all CIA majors

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ann McGuire
Director of Communications

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland Institute of Art has named Panzica Construction Company as the chief contractor for construction of a new 80,000-square-foot building to be built immediately west of its Joseph McCullough Center for the Visual Arts in the new Uptown district of Cleveland’s University Circle. The new building will enable CIA to unify its now-divided campus, bringing all 15 majors and all student services together in one location.

“We are very pleased to announce the selection of Panzica as chief contractor for our campus project, after a very thorough bid review process,” said Grafton J. Nunes, the college’s president and CEO. “We’re confident that Panzica will build an exceptional facility in which generations of students and Northeast Ohio art enthusiasts will learn about, create, view, and exhibit art and design, and enjoy classic and independent cinematic works through our Cinematheque program.”

Panzica President and CEO Tony Panzica also expressed enthusiasm. “We are excited to work with CIA on this project. I’ve been watching this project closely for the last few years and we’re delighted to have this opportunity.”

CIA currently operates a split campus, with some departments and functions housed in its George Gund Building at 11141 East Boulevard, and the remainder in its McCullough building at 11610 Euclid Avenue. In January, CIA announced it would sell its East Boulevard property to the Cleveland Museum of Art and Case Western Reserve University.

The new building will also be named for George Gund II in honor of $10 million in support provided by his family and the foundation that bears his name. Gund (1888-1966), former chairman of the Cleveland Trust Company, chaired CIA’s board from 1942-1966.

Panzica, which is now lining up subcontractors, will soon begin to erect construction fencing around the building site. Construction will take approximately 16-18 months, after which the college will begin the process of transferring equipment and functions from its East Boulevard building to the unified campus in Uptown. The new campus will be operational by fall 2015.

CIA staged a ceremonial groundbreaking this summer to signal the start of this final phase of the college’s two-phase campus project. Phase I was the modernization of the McCullough building, the eastern anchor of Uptown. The McCullough building is a retrofitted Model T Ford assembly plant that was designed by renowned industrial architect Albert Kahn as one of the first automobile factories built outside of Detroit. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Its renovation netted CIA awards of recognition for historic preservation and adaptive reuse from The Cleveland Restoration Society, the Cleveland and Akron chapters of the American Institute of Architects, and University Circle Inc.

Separately, developer MRN Ltd. is now constructing a building that will include a new residence hall for CIA students at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Ford Drive. This Uptown Phase II will be complete by August 2014.

“Having state-of-the-art facilities for living and learning in this vibrant Uptown neighborhood will help us draw top students from across the country and around the world,” Nunes said. “At the same time, our students bring so much vitality to this unique neighborhood, where culture, commerce, education and healthcare come together,” he said. Even without the new facilities, CIA has increased enrollment in recent years, bringing in a record number of new students over the last three years.

In addition to attracting applicants, the new Gund Building, designed by Stantec Architects, will also be a draw for Northeast Ohio residents who attend CIA’s Cinematheque film program, gallery exhibitions, public lectures, and robust continuing education offerings. The new building will feature:

  • the Peter B. Lewis Theater, the new home for the nationally acclaimed Cinematheque
  • CIA’s main exhibition gallery, American Greetings Welcome Center, Admissions and Financial Aid offices, and several administrative operations
  • CIA’s Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Graphic Design, Illustration, Biomedical Art, Animation, and Game Design programs

“Thanks to our talented Stantec architectural team, our new building will look crisp and contemporary without detracting from the historic McCullough building next door,” said Nunes. “This new George Gund Building will fully connect CIA to the new Uptown development of retail, restaurants, and residential construction anchored by the CIA campus to the east and the gleaming new home of MOCA Cleveland to the west.”

The top three donors to the capital campaign that is funding CIA’s campus project are: The George Gund Foundation and the family of George Gund II, with a combined $10 million commitment; philanthropist and Progressive Corporation Chairman Peter B. Lewis, with a $5 million commitment; and The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation with commitments totaling $4 million.

“We are very excited about the future of our college and look forward to having all CIA students together in one incredibly rich learning environment for the first time in more than a quarter century,” Nunes said.

About CIA

Founded in 1882, the Cleveland Institute of Art is an accredited, independent college of art and design offering 15 majors in studio art, digital art, craft disciplines, and design. CIA extends its programming to the public through gallery exhibitions; lectures; a robust continuing education program; and the Cinematheque, a year-round art and independent film program. CIA’s public programming is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. For more information visit

About Panzica Construction Company

Since 1956, Panzica Construction Company has grown to be one of the premier construction firms serving the Northeast Ohio region by delivering quality construction in public, private, healthcare, education, industrial, and renovation and adaptive reuse of existing buildings. Recent buildings include some of the region’s most highly profiled projects: Cleveland Museum of Art , Severance Hall, Flats East Bank Aloft Hotel, and Akron City Schools. For more information, visit and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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