The University of Saint Francis is preparing to begin not one, but two projects that will alter its Spring Street campus: a free-standing chapel and an expansion and modernization of its science building.
A groundbreaking for both projects is set for 9:30 a.m. July 24. The public is welcome at the event, which will include Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades blessing the sites.
“The impact of these two projects, in the heart of the Spring Street campus, will significantly transform our campus environment,” university President Sister M. Elise Kriss said in a statement Tuesday.
Fundraising for the $22.7 million Faith and Reason capital campaign will continue throughout construction.
Renovations to Achatz Hall of Science are overdue. Much has changed in science since the building was constructed 50 years ago, said Trois Hart, associate vice president of marketing.
“There's new science disciplines that didn't exist back then,” she said, adding it's time to prepare for the next 50 years.
According to the university, the project's components will include new and updated biotechnology, chemistry, genetics, microbiology and physics laboratories; dedicated research space for students and faculty; student study spaces; and contemporary storage for specimens and supplies.
Phase one of the new laboratories is expected to be completed in 2018 with the final back renovation of the existing labs to be completed in 2019, according to the release.
The St. Francis Chapel, which should be finished next year, will give the university its first free-standing chapel, Hart said. The existing chapel is in Trinity Hall.
With a location on Mirror Lake, she said, it will be “right in the heart of campus.”
She described it as a “welcome addition” that will seat 250 people compared with existing chapel seating of about 100. Sunday evening Mass, which is popular among students, often is standing-room only, she said.
If you go
What: Groundbreaking celebration of new St. Francis Chapel and addition and renovation of Achatz Hall of Science
Where: University of Saint Francis, 2701 Spring St., by Achatz Hall of Science
When: 9:30 a.m. July 24