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

Air Force Academy officials break ground for the Center for Character and Leadership Development facility Oct. 19, 2012. The new, $40 million facility will be located between Arnold Hall and the Cadet Chapel. Construction is projected to take 22 months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Liz Copan)

Air Force Academy officials break ground for the Center for Character and Leadership Development facility Oct. 19, 2012. The new, $40 million facility will be located between Arnold Hall and the Cadet Chapel. Construction is projected to take 22 months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Liz Copan)

Air Force Academy officials break ground for the Center for Character and Leadership Development facility Oct. 19, 2012. The new, $40 million facility will be located between Arnold Hall and the Cadet Chapel. Construction is projected to take 22 months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Liz Copan)

Air Force Academy officials break ground for the Center for Character and Leadership Development facility Oct. 19, 2012. The new, $40 million facility will be located between Arnold Hall and the Cadet Chapel. Construction is projected to take 22 months. (U.S. Air Force photo/Liz Copan)

Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould (second from left) unveils one of the ceremonial shovels that will be used for groundbreaking of the Air Force Academy's Center for Character and Leadership Development facility. The new facility, scheduled to be finished in 2014, was made possible through $30 million in annual military construction budget funds and $10 million in private donations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Liz Copan)

Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould (second from left) unveils one of the ceremonial shovels that will be used for groundbreaking of the Air Force Academy's Center for Character and Leadership Development facility. The new facility, scheduled to be finished in 2014, was made possible through $30 million in annual military construction budget funds and $10 million in private donations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Liz Copan)

The new Center for Character Leadership and Development is shown adjacent to Arnold Hall and Harmon Hall at the U.S. Air Force Academy in this artist's rendering. Construction on the new facility, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, is scheduled to begin in March 2011 and be complete in March 2012. (courtesy illustration)

The new Center for Character Leadership and Development is shown adjacent to Arnold Hall and Harmon Hall at the U.S. Air Force Academy in this artist's rendering. Construction on the new facility, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, is scheduled to begin in March 2011 and be complete in March 2012. (courtesy illustration)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Ground was broken today for the Air Force Academy's new Center for Character and Leadership Development building.

Character and leadership development is a crucial, all-encompassing part of a cadet's experience at the United States Air Force Academy. The Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD) ensures that character development, education and scholarship are major focus of Academy life. From basic training to graduation, cadets can expect to see character development programs in every aspect of their lives, with the ultimate goal of imbuing them with the inner desire to put integrity first, place service before self, and strive for excellence in all they do.

The Air Force Academy's CCLD has served as a focal point of the Academy's commitment to developing leaders of character since its creation in 1993. Its mission is to advance the understanding, practice and integration of character and leadership development in preparation for service to the nation in the profession of arms. The center does this through high-quality daily interactions for cadets with faculty and staff.

The CCLD building is a $40 million project, funded by the annual military construction budget, and $12.5 million from donors. The architect for the building is Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the firm that originally planned the Academy campus and designed the buildings, including the Cadet Chapel. The CCLD building is being built in the heart of a National Historic Landmark District, therefore the Academy has proactively included the historic preservation community in the design.

"The CCLD building is a an iconic architectural concept that symbolically state our commitment to character and leadership development," said Duane Boyle, Deputy Director, Directorate of Installations of the Air Force Academy. "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. 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."

Construction is projected to take 22 months.