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August 21, 2006

New Academic Center Ready for First Full Year

Technology and Expanded Instructional Space Highlighted

When students arrive for classes September 6, many of them will take seats in state-of-the-art classrooms, an HDTV Studio and Edit Suite, computer lab or theater. It's the first full school year that the $20 million Academic Center will be used for St. Francis College students.

The Academic Center, a 35,000 square-foot facility adjacent to the College's Remsen Street campus, includes 14 "smart" classrooms, state-of-the-art library, 90-seat theater/lecture hall, and high-definition television studio and digital production facility. The new facility increases available instructional space by one-third but the College designed the space to maintain small classes where student / professor interaction is paramount. Enrollment will stay at the current level of 2,300, reaffirming a longstanding mission to provide students a high-quality, liberal arts education at an affordable tuition.

"These essential capital improvements reflect the commitment of St. Francis College to deepening the educational experience of our fine students—and assuring their ability to compete successfully in a global job market," said President Frank Macchiarola '62. "The investment in new technology alone marks the College's position as a frontrunner in today's higher education environment."

Overall investment in the Academic Center totals $20 million. Its features are:

  • SmartBoard™ technology in 14 "smart" classrooms, which includes a "sympodium" with interactive tablet, Dell PC, VCR and DVD, audio system with microphone, and the ability for faculty to use laptop computers for overhead projection.
  • State-of-the-art library, with an atrium over the main reading room, which includes the William G. and Diane Foley Parrett Academic Suite, a 36-station computer lab, classroom and study rooms for individual and group use; space for the library's extensive circulating books, reference, and audio-visual collections; and versatile seating.
  • The Maroney Forum for Arts, Education, and Culture, which includes a theater/lecture hall with control room, catwalks, sympodium, and state-of-the-art audio system, making it suitable for lectures, fine arts performances, and

community use. The adjacent television production and editing facility, with 3 Ikegami cameras and 17 Mac G5 digital editing stations, the new industry standard, is one of only approximately 12 similar facilities at colleges in the country.

  • A superior indoor environment designed to optimize natural light in classrooms, minimize heat and glare during summer months and project daylight deep into classrooms in winter. High-efficiency lighting, an underfloor air distribution system, an exterior skin that limits the passage of air through joints and seams, and the building's HVAC system contribute to minimal maintenance, maximum controllability, and high efficiency.

In addition, renovations totaling $10 million were made to several existing campus structures. These include:

  • The DeBlasio Family Lobby, the College's main entrance, providing updated security features and a 61" plasma screen that keeps students informed of campus events.
  • The Thomas J. and Anita Volpe Lounge, serving as a center of campus life for the College's predominantly commuting student population. The Volpe Lounge offers wireless Internet access for laptop use and direct access to the College's library, Offices of Career Development, Student Activities, and Student Financial Services.
  • Refurbished elevators and updated cafeteria/food service.

These additions complete the second phase of a capital improvements project for St. Francis College that began with the opening in 2003 of the Anthony J. Genovesi Center.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City's five boroughs and beyond.
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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