For Neumann to provide a holistic experience for its undergraduate students and to assist with the growth goals, a residential program was approved by the Board of Trustees. When the first residence hall opened in 1997, the building housed 177 students and transformed campus life. There are now three Living and Learning Centers on campus, an adjacent apartment complex (Buoni Building) leased for student housing, and a nearby apartment building (The Annex), all together having capacity to house 912 students. In Fall 2014 the Annex was not used for student housing. In 2004, Neumann University acquired a 46,434 square foot office building located at the Concord Road entrance of the campus from the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. The newly named the Rocco A. Abessinio Building now houses additional classroom and office space. Neumann University opened the Mirenda Center for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development on October 17, 2009. Located on its main campus in Aston, Pennsylvania, the Mirenda Center features more than 72,000 square feet of space including an arena, classroom, meeting and event rooms, exhibits, offices, and athletic facilities. This new, state- of-the-art facility was named in honor of Dr. Rosalie M. Mirenda and her husband, Tony, by the Board of Trustees in acknowledgement of the Mirendas' many years of hard work, dedication, and commitment to the Catholic Franciscan identity and mission of NU. Seeking to unify an ever-expanding campus, the St. John Neumann Circle was created to connect the original Bachmann Building and the Life Center on one side of Convent Road with the Mirenda Center and Student Living and Learning units on the other side of the road. On April 1, 2010 two commissioned statues were placed in the circle. The most prominent, on a high base and at the Circle’s center, is of St. John Neumann, the namesake of the University. The second, at ground level and facing the students who walk from the Living and Learning Centers and the Mirenda Center, is a representation of a Sister of St. Francis of Philadelphia, the sponsoring Congregation. Beginning with the May 2010 Commencement, all graduates pass through the circle one last time as they join family and friends to receive their degrees. In 2014, the focus on growth was to deepen academic excellence and serve the research and learning needs of students of all levels and the local community. A two-phased library renovation began. The project was funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP). The first phase of the project was completed in 2012 and saw the addition of new learning and study commons areas on the third floor of the Bachmann Main Building as well as the creation of a media-enhanced classroom designed to seat ninety and offices to house the Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies, endowed in 2000 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. The final phase of the project was completed in time for the start of the fall 2014 semester, as the University’s fiftieth anniversary celebration began. Currently, the Thomas A. Bruder, Jr. Life Center is getting an upgrade. Work began on a 10,000 square foot addition to the building in late July, 2015. The project will take 10 months, with completion scheduled for May 2016. A single story structure is being added to the Life Center, stretching from the McNichol Room toward Morgan Circle and wrapping around the building, extending across the space behind the Meagher Theatre. The new structure will be devoted primarily to Neumann Media and a large multi-purpose room. This $4.99-million expansion project is funded, in part, by a $1.5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, awarded through the Delaware County Redevelopment Authority, and gifts received through the campaign “In Giving We Receive.” It makes visible the theme of Transforming Spaces as found in the 2015-2019 University Strategic Plan.
Published on Feb 1, 2016