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Academy breaks ground on new $40 million Center for Character, Leadership Development

10/24/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) -- Air Force Academy officials broke ground Oct. 19 for the Academy's new Center for Character and Leadership Development building.

The CCLD has served as the focal point of the Academy's commitment to developing leaders of character since its creation in 1993. The CCLD mission is to advance the understanding, practice and integration of character and leadership development for the cadets in preparation for their service to the nation in the profession of arms.

The CCLD building is a $40 million project funded by the annual military construction budget, and more than $10 million from donors. The facility is modeled on the design of an existing architectural icon, the Academy Chapel. Once built, the Academy's two structural icons will be adjacent to each other.

"The CCLD is a bold initiative to develop an iconic architectural concept to symbolically state our commitment to character and leadership development," said Duane Boyle, deputy director of the Academy Directorate of Installations. "Polaris has long been a navigation tool used to guide the traveler. Likewise, it symbolically relates to one's own ethical and moral journey through life.

"The steel and glass tower aligns with Polaris, sending a powerful message to all that leadership and character development are paramount in all that we do. The transparency of the architecture is indicative of the serious nature of its function: the free exchange of thoughts, opinions and knowledge in an open environment," Boyle explained. "Our new center places the Academy at the pinnacle of character and leadership development nationally and will spark the interest of all who believe that our nation's future is based on thoughtful, careful, and meaningful decisions of our leadership, both military and civilian."

Because the CCLD building is being built in a National Historic Landmark District, Academy officials have actively worked with the historic preservation community in the planning of the construction.

The facility will be environmentally friendly, being a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Platinum-level certified building, Boyle said. Platinum is the highest level "green" designation by the Green Building Certification Institute of the U.S. Green Building Council. Only 17 other buildings in the nation have reached that level.

Construction is projected to take 22 months.

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