SFC Forward is St. Francis College’s bold new chapter
An unprecedented vision for the College, SFC Forward ensures a first-rate, flexible, and affordable education for the next generation of Terriers.
In recent years, St. Francis College has grown its student body from about 2,300 to more than 2,700. By 2026, we aim to welcome more than 3,500 students seeking a competitive and affordable higher education to become the critical thinkers and leaders of the 21st-century global economy. SFC Forward strengthens the College’s financial footing, allowing SFC to thrive in Downtown Brooklyn for many years.
SFC Forward ensures the College rises to occasion in a strategic, forward-thinking approach that honors the Franciscan values of community, collaboration, and connection it has upheld for more than 160 years. To do so, SFC is investing in a new campus designed and customized for our student body, reimagining our curricula to strengthen flagship programs while introducing new professional pathways to emerging fields, and deepening our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity so that the College can be a welcoming home to our growing community.
Through this website, we will keep you informed about the plans and goals laid out throughout the SFC Forward initiative and offer updates on an ongoing basis. Have a question? Email us at [email protected].
Frequently Asked Questions
St. Francis College is dedicated to ensuring we are responsive to our community’s concerns as we take steps towards a bold new era for the College. If you have any questions not addressed below, please contact us at [email protected].
Our Remsen Street campus has served us well and we hold dear our fond memories, however, the new space at The Wheeler is better suited to a modern, student-focused buildout with its large floor plates, higher ceilings, broader column spacing, and reduced dependence on vertical transportation (elevators). Our new location offers the unique opportunity to create a new, efficient, purpose-built space that would not be possible at our current location.
A convenient location and minimal disruption to our student’s commuting arrangements were a top priority as we searched for our new home. The College conducted a thorough search to ensure our future home is the best possible option for our students, faculty, and staff to thrive. Over the course of several months, SFC surveyed over 200 potential relocation sites in conjunction with a strategic review of the commuter patterns and enrollment demographics and found The Wheeler Building at 181 Livingston St. to be the best decision for the College’s long-term financial success that is still near the Remsen Street campus and has access to multiple transportation options.
St. Francis College expects a full opening in September 2022.
The College will not be reducing our academic programs. We are reimagining our academic programs, adding majors that meet student interests and market demands, investing in advanced technology and offering students new on-campus amenities, including wellness spaces to unwind and new cafes to fuel up.
SFC will partner with local media companies to provide students a state-of-the-art hands on experience in the companies’ professional studio spaces. SFC will invest in mobile and digital equipment to maintain the highest quality in-house production experience.
Our Remsen Street location is an amalgam of multiple buildings, constructed independently across many eras. The time and money needed to upgrade our current campus would far outpace what is needed to create a new space, essentially from scratch, with the state-of-the-art features and amenities that our students deserve.
We have invested significantly in our Remsen Street campus through the years but committing more money and time -- and creating inconvenience to students from continual construction/upgrades -- is no longer the most responsible decision for the College's financial health or the student experience. The Board of Trustees has been thoughtfully considering new location options for more than 10 years
Our new campus in The Wheeler is designed to utilize space with maximum efficiency. We are designing and will construct every square foot with student service in mind first, differing from Remsen Street which is mostly retrofitted office buildings that SFC acquired more than 50 years ago.
Administrative, staff and faculty office spaces are minimized in the new campus, meaning a higher proportion of space is devoted to classrooms, labs and open spaces that better serve students.
St. Francis College will operate at its Remsen Street campus until September 2022. Our athletics program will use the facilities there until at least that time, too.
Our intent is to sell a portion, or all our Remsen Street campus facilities based on what is in the best interests of our students of today and tomorrow. We have engaged a real estate services firm to assist the College to better understand the market opportunities related to a potential sale transaction and will update our community and the public as plans develop.
The combination of unique features, location, and favorable terms of the lease and the associated construction costs are clearly the best option, when weighed against alternatives such as a Remsen Street campus renovation, or new ground-up construction at Remsen Street or another location.
Our lease structure affords flexibility regarding a potential future purchase of the space. It also means SFC can invest proceeds from a Remsen Street campus sale into the endowment rather than back into building ownership, providing us additional long-term financial stability.
The new vertical campus will have upgraded amenities for students, faculty and staff. Key features include:
- a dedicated lobby, entrance and elevators welcoming students and visitors to St. Francis College,
- a 260-seat cafeteria with servery and kitchen,
- a 50-seat private outdoor terrace just for the SFC community,
- a 38-seat chapel w/expandable multi-faith room,
- a 300-seat auditorium,
- a 32-seat tiered screening room,
- a 6,600 square foot library, with study and research spaces,
- two art gallery spaces,
- a shared rooftop terrace, and
- ample space for student gatherings.
Tuition dollars will continue to cover the costs of an SFC education. We are not using tuition to fund the campus move. Going forward, we will be able to support more ambitious projects by no longer having to carry millions of dollars in deferred maintenance costs at our current campus.
Current students will not see impacts to their financial aid.
SFC’s outdoor sports will practice and compete at various offsite outdoor locations when SFC relocates, as they do currently while SFC is on Remsen Street.
We will continue to use the Remsen Street campus for our indoor sports, including basketball, volleyball and aquatics until at least September 2022.
As our new campus will not include a gym or pool, we are evaluating options including potential partnerships with nearby educational institutions to use their facilities in the short term, for practice and competitions, once we relocate.
For Faculty & Staff
Yes, the College will hire more faculty across most academic disciplines. We have evaluated our current academic programs and are working to update our majors to better meet the needs of a competitive job market. We are reinvigorating and redesigning our degree programs to offer new, mission-driven programs. Doing this allows SFC to streamline our faculty and resources to offer our students the best possible academic and student experience.
Yes. While some of our faculty currently outsource space for research from other institutions, the new campus will offer collaborative, open, and private spaces onsite for faculty to convene and conduct research.
As part of SFC Forward's strategic approach, the College has evaluated its current academic programs and are working to update its majors to better meet the needs of a competitive job market. We are reinvigorating and redesigning our degree programs to offer new, mission-driven programs, which allows SFC to streamline its faculty and resources to offer our students the best possible academic and student experience. A few programs—such as the Concentration in Operations Resource and Management, Concentration in Travel and Tourism, and Drama—will be phased out to better serve the needs of our students.
Salaries will not be impacted by the campus relocation.
SFC will have the same access to local parking garages as it has currently.
For Alumni Community
The new campus will serve as an extension of our alumni’s home on Remsen Street. The new campus will extend SFC’s 160 year legacy as a first-class, diverse, Franciscan institution geared to social mobility and ensure future generations of Terriers receive the same life-changing academic and social experience as our distinguished alumni.
The College’s advancement office is developing a plan regarding the named spaces at the Remsen Street campus, and will share details soon.
St. Francis College will remain committed to demonstrating Franciscan hospitality to our community and neighbors. While prioritizing the needs of SFC students, we will continue to host some events for outside and community groups.
Beginning September 2022, SFC will no longer hold any community events at the Remsen Street campus—including in its pool, in Founders Hall, or other spaces. Eventually, the College plans to sell the Remsen Street campus and reinvest in SFC’s endowment to support the work of the institution for decades to come. We look forward to offering expanded programming for our Brooklyn community at our new campus on Livingston Street.