The College of New Rochelle to Build $25 Million Interdisciplinary Center Dedicated to Wellness Education for Students and the Community
New Building Will Be Unique in Greater New York Metro Area
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The College of New Rochelle (CNR), the first college in the nation to offer a master's program in holistic nursing, announced that it will again break new ground in education by building a $25 million, 60,000-square-foot holistic Wellness Center. The Center, a critical academic facility, will be unique in the greater New York metropolitan area to bring together and integrate multiple disciplines to help students understand and practice the principles of healthy living and wellness throughout their lives. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050512/NYTH048 ) "Through the Wellness Center, the College will expand our commitment to education for health and well-being, and bring that knowledge into the community," said Dr. Stephen J. Sweeny, President of The College of New Rochelle. "We're not just constructing a building. We are drawing on our strength as a women-centered, faith-based, liberal arts institution and matching it with the critical need to build a healthier society." Dr. Sweeny noted, "The Center is consistent with the way we've always done things throughout our 100-year history. We are breaking new ground in what will truly be an interdisciplinary approach to equipping students for lifelong healthful living." Groundbreaking for the Wellness Center is anticipated in late summer/early fall 2005, followed by an 18-month period of construction. Although several buildings have been renovated, the 60,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Wellness Center will be the first new building to be constructed on campus in 40 years. The Center will consist of several technologically equipped learning spaces for conferences, seminars and classroom instruction. It will allow faculty and students to develop health and wellness education modules that address the specific curricular needs of the CNR communities as well as further the larger national goals of preventing major chronic illnesses, injuries and infectious diseases. Healthy lifestyle habits will be taught to students at all CNR campuses, and they will be encouraged to become models of wellness. The Wellness Center will be built at the southwest corner of the CNR campus along Liberty Avenue and Meadow Lane. It will serve as a gateway for the College when seen from Pelham Road and anchors the campus when approached from the northeast along the promenade known as Maura Lawn. A significant section of the Wellness Center will be built into the ground to take advantage of the area's sloping topography and to minimize the visual impact on the neighbors of the Residence Park Association. The building's two most unique features will be its Contemplation Roof Garden, which will be created on top of the below-ground pool enclosure, and the Meditation Room that will extend from the corner of the building as if suspended in midair among a grove of gingko and oak trees. The Wellness Center makes good on the College's promise to its students to provide a state-of-the-art fitness center. It includes a gymnasium equipped with arena-style bleachers for 1,500 people, competition-size basketball court and volleyball court; an interior running track suspended above the gym floor; and a six-lane NCAA competition swimming pool, lockers and showers. The 3,500- square-foot fitness center includes a weight and equipment room, aerobics and dance studio, Meditation Room and Contemplation Roof Garden. The former sports building-torn down six years ago-was constructed in the 1920s. The inclusion of fitness and swimming in the program was unusual for its time at a women's college. CNR believed that fitness was integral to educating the whole person and that women were just as entitled to it as men. Despite the lack of a sports building, the CNR Physical Education Department has continued to offer a diverse array of classes for students from cross- country running to boxing. CNR has also continued its intercollegiate competition programs and NCAA Division III affiliation by utilizing space at facilities and neighboring schools. Incorporated into the first floor of the new building will be the College's Student Health Services Department. Health Services offers health programs, provides preventive health care, treats acute health problems and makes referrals. The School of Nursing will be a vital component of many Wellness Center programs. Marie Serina, Director of College Health Services, said, "The Wellness Center will give us a base where we can bring together the community and educate them on how to lead a healthy lifestyle." Health Services, which is now located in a small house that will be replaced to make way for the newly expanded Center, will provide opportunities for conferences, classrooms, and seminar activities for students and the community-at-large. Designed by Ikon.5 Architects of Princeton, NJ, the architecture of the Wellness Center is itself a metaphor-"a metaphor for wellness that reflects the philosophical underpinnings of the project," said Joe Tattoni, Design Principal. The fact that the Wellness Center will be a "Green" building, eligible for a silver level certificate by the U.S. Green Business Council under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System(R), presented challenges for the architect, particularly its recreation component. Mr. Tattoni explained, "Natural daylight is the enemy of competition swimming and basketball-that's why gymnasiums are windowless boxes." The architect solved the problem by using skylights in the Contemplation Roof Garden and variegated glass to help diffuse the light in the gym. To take advantage of one of the area's natural resources, the Wellness Center will be built almost entirely out of Westchester granite like much of the CNR campus. The $25 million funding for the Wellness Center is part of the College's Capital Campaign. By the end of the Campaign, the College will have raised $70 million, which also supported the renovation of the Mother Irene Gill Library and the refurbishment of the Holy Family Chapel. The renovated Mother Irene Gill Library dramatically improves academic life at CNR with expanded access to technology for faculty and students on all campuses while the refurbishment of the Holy Family Chapel provides students with a beautiful spiritual center. The first Catholic college for women in New York State, The College of New Rochelle was founded in 1904 by the Ursuline Order and today is one of 60 women's colleges in the nation. It comprises the all-women School of Arts & Sciences, and three schools which admit women and men: the School of New Resources (for adult learners), the School of Nursing and the Graduate School. The main campus of the College is located in lower Westchester County, 16 miles north of New York City. The College maintains five other campus locations in New York City. Visit the College's website at http://www.cnr.edu.
SOURCE The College of New Rochelle
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