SHU begins campus expansion, breaks grounds

The Health Sciences Center and the Dance and Visual Arts Center are just two of the plans Seton Hill University (SHU) has begun for their $75 million campus expansion to remain committed to ongoing improvement of learning environments.

The Health Sciences Center, which will be named in honor of JoAnne Boyle, will be a space for the ever-growing science programs at SHU by the fall of 2015.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Health Sciences Center will occur on Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. on the main campus.

The $21.5 million dollar project will be connected to the existing Lynch Hall, which is also the site of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM).

The building will house new laboratories, classrooms for undergraduate instruction, research areas, examination rooms and even office space.

The health sciences, which include exercise science, biology, chemistry, art therapy, pre-med, pharmacy and orthodontics, among other majors, continue to be a staple of SHU.

Nearly 500 students were enrolled in these programs in the 2012-2013 school year. This is a 32 percent increase in enrollment in the past four years.

The 51,952 square foot building is being designed by MacLachlan, Cornelius & Filoni Architects, Inc. of Pittsburgh, and will be constructed by the P.J. Dick Corporation, also of Pittsburgh.

This expansion has been the catalyst for the largest monetary donation in SHU’s history, a $7 million donation from R.K. Mellon Foundation. Other donations such as a $1.5 million gift from the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, a $750,000 anonymous donation, and other countless contributions have made this project possible.

The Dance & Visual Arts Center held its groundbreaking ceremony on July 29. The 46,000 square foot facility will be located on the corner of West Otterman Street and College Avenue, just one block away from the University’s Performing Arts Center.

The building is being designed by designLAB Architects of Boston, Massachusetts and Balog, Steines, Hendricks & Manchester Architects, Inc. of Youngstown, Ohio. It will feature art galleries and classrooms, dance facilities and areas for the community to be involved with SHU activities.

Before the plans for the Dance & Visual Arts Center, students studying these majors were scattered throughout SHU’s campus and downtown without a place to call home.The $11 million dollar project will be finished in time for use in the fall of 2014.

“In dance it is important that we have the right kind of facility to learn in. This space is going to be beautiful, it’s going to be sizable, it’s going to be state of the art with technology,” said TaMara Swank, assistant professor of dance.

In total, 330 students were enrolled in the University’s visual arts and dance programs in 2012-2013, including the Community Dance Program. This number is expected to increase with the addition of this specialized facility to campus.

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