By the University at Buffalo
The Louis P. Ciminelli Family Foundation has given $1 million to the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning to help build a brighter future for the school and its host communities.
The gift — to be paid over the next five years — supports restoration of the school's Hayes Hall home, as well as future, yet-to-be-determined initiatives in Buffalo neighborhoods and beyond.
Robert Shibley, dean of the UB School of Architecture and Planning, said the school will honor the family's gift by naming the Hayes Hall atrium for them. The Louis P. Ciminelli Family Atrium will include a gallery designed to serve as the central public space in Hayes Hall. It will be equipped to host a wide range of exhibits, presentations, lectures, seminars, films, workshops and other public events.
"Lou Ciminelli and his family, with this generous gift, demonstrate their dedication to producing extraordinary outcomes for our school, the university and our surrounding communities," Shibley said.
Shibley noted it is especially fitting to honor the Ciminellis by placing their name on the space specifically designated as the place where the school and public will join together.
"The atrium gallery is where area residents and the public at large will gather with university scholars, community leaders and practitioners in a center of learning and exchange," he said.
Louis Ciminelli is chairman and CEO of LPCiminelli, a full-service construction firm ranked in the top 150 of all construction companies in the U.S. In 2013, he became founding chair of the School of Architecture and Planning dean's council, and is concluding three years of service in that role.
Ciminelli said he and his family gave because they are eager to support the nearly completed restoration of Hayes Hall, home to the School of Architecture and Planning for four decades, and future public planning efforts by the school and one of its research arms, the UB Regional Institute.
"It is the hope of my family that this gift will help complete the historic renovation of Edmund B. Hayes Hall and, at the same time, look to the future by continuing the school's broad reach of planning efforts across the city and region," Ciminelli said. "I look forward to working with Dean Shibley and UBRI to ensure this ongoing engagement through sponsored studio and course work supported by UBRI research faculty and staff members."
With restoration of Hayes Hall now in its final stages, UB has scheduled a grand opening of the landmark building for Sept. 23-24.