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

May 12, 2005, 01:00 ET from The College of New Rochelle

    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.
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     "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
     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

SOURCE The College of New Rochelle