By providing modern centers for learning, both in and out of the classroom, we will rise above the rest, serve our students' needs, and continue to attract the best and brightest students and faculty.
Serving the finest students in this or any era, while providing for them an atmosphere in which they can learn as they prepare to compete outside the classroom, requires the provision of modern forums for teaching and learning. The students of Rockford College during the 60s, 70s and 80s had the luxury of attending one of the newest campuses in the country; the same cannot be said today. While we have successfully completed more than $14 million in facility improvements over the last 6 years, including renovations to the Burpee Student Center, there is still more to be done. In order to build on our recent success of recruiting and retaining students, we have selected Starr Science Building and the construction of a new Athletic and Event Center as focal points of our ongoing capital work.
Science Center Modernizations $1.2 Million
Enhanced classrooms and lecture halls in Starr Science Center, along with the acquisition of select scientific instrumentation, will advance learning for all students, particularly those in the College of Science, Mathematics, and Nursing.
Athletic and Event Center $6 Million
In addition, constructing an Athletic and Event Center adjacent to the Seaver Physical Education Center is essential. It will support general student fitness and intramural competition, provide classroom space for our burgeoning Physical Education and Sports Management programs, and serve as a much needed year-round training facility for our student-athletes.
The Case for Shaping Modern Facilities
Constructed in 1967, the Starr Science Building consists of several teaching and research laboratories, large and small lecture halls, and a suite of five primary classrooms, with each of those primary classrooms seating up to 30 students. While enrollments at Rockford University in the Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biology, Psychology and Nursing programs are growing, and nationally these fields are projected to continue this trajectory, at the same time, the needs of students in these fields are continually evolving as technology changes. In order to meet this demand and appropriately prepare students now and in the near future, the Starr Science building must be modernized. In return the University will continue to provide an educated and adaptive workforce for the region and the world.
Modernizations in Starr will be concentrated on the main floor of the west classroom wing, principally comprised of four classrooms and two large common areas popular for group study. The classrooms are used by all the disciplines in the College of Science, Mathematics and Nursing: they serve as a hub for classroom instruction. As such, most every student at Rockford University studies in these rooms at some point in time. The desks (original to the building) will be replaced with modern seating and tables that will allow for flexibility of use. Installation of technology that is responsive to and supports current industry standards is crucial. Along with our efforts to create aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces that reflect the best in 21st Century amenities (approximately $1 million), comes the acquisition of select scientific equipment. A prioritized list of scientific equipment (approximately $200,000 worth) serves as the basis for equipment acquisition and use in the building’s laboratories.
When Seaver Physical Education Center was constructed in 1964, you couldn’t find a much better facility - an expansive space that allowed for the segmented recreation, training and classroom instruction of just more than 600 students. Things began to change on June 23, 1972, with the dawn of Title IX. Suddenly the number of sports teams grew from 5 to 10. Today there are 13 teams, more than 903 undergraduate students and the prospect of adding other sports. Even with the creation of recently remodeled space in Seaver Center, we can no longer adequately meet the comprehensive needs of sports, recreation, and events. In order to responsibly escape the current logistical problems that surround scheduling of classroom instruction, intramural activity, athletic competition, practices and other activities, the creation of an entirely new space is essential.
The new 30,000-square-foot Athletic and Event Center will provide:
• Needed space for the Physical Education and Athletics departments.
• Improved and enhanced practice facility for athletic teams.
• Relief for our competition center.
• Appropriate space for our Hall of Fame.
• Suitable space for simultaneous use in support of intramural programs.
• Appropriate indoor concert space for Student Activities.
• Improved space and configuration to support fitness/ wellness and allied programming.
• Indoor, non-competition track for running/walking fitness.
• Space for use during Reunion@Homecoming and for gatherings during athletic events.
• Host site for large convocations (internal and external), i.e. commencement, forums.
• Host site for regional tournaments and summer camps.
Naming Opportunities: Starr Science Building
Classroom (4) - $100,000
Study Area (2) - $50,000
Main Floor West Wing - $500,000
There are also opportunities to help provide select scientific equipment. Please speak with a Development Officer if you are interested. All donors will have their names prominently placed on a project donor plaque at the campaign’s end.
Naming Opportunities: Athletic and Event Center
Athletic and Event Center - $3M
Primary Public Lobby - $500,000
First Level - $100,000
Multi-Purpose Court (2)
Second Level - $750,000
Walk/Jog Loop - $250,000
Outdoor Plaza - $500,000
Outdoor Plaza - $500,000