JOLIET – The University of St. Francis will hold a groundbreaking ceremony April 8 for its new science building.
The Laverne & Dorothy Brown Science Hall is the first new building on USF's main campus in 30 years, the university stated in a news release announcing the groundbreaking.
The ceremony precedes actual construction, which is scheduled to start in late May. The groundbreaking will be held at 11:30 a.m. in parking lot A, located at the corner of Wilcox and Douglas streets.
"This facility will enhance the learning environment for all science, nursing and education students," USF President Arvid Johnson stated in the release. "This building is an important part of how the University of St. Francis is preparing itself – as well as its students – for its second century of service and leadership."
USF was founded in 1920.
According to the release, 45 percent of freshman and transfer students who enter USF declare a major in a field of science. Thirty-six percent of the 2015 graduating class earned a degree in a field of science.
The science building is named after Laverne Brown, who died in 2013, and his wife, Dorothy. USF in December announced a significant gift to the university in the name of the Browns.
USF also previously announced a major gift to the building from alumni William and Patricia Bellah. According to the release, a multipurpose lecture hall in the building was made possible by the Bellahs' gift.