Gov. Quinn announces capital investments on Science Center

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Governor Quinn announces capital investments on Lewis University Science Center

Published: October 31, 2014.

(Left to right) Brother James Gaffney, FSC,
Governor Pat Quinn, Dr. Arvid Johnson and
Illinois Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, Larry Walsh, Will County Executive

Governor Pat Quinn announced investments totaling $3.8 million for Lewis University in Romeoville and the University of St. Francis in Joliet on Oct. 31. The investments are funded by the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program to address the critical needs of the state’s private colleges and universities. Governor Quinn made the announcement on the Lewis University Main Campus in Romeoville.

Surrounded by students, he announced Lewis University will receive $2,512,119 for Science Center construction and renovation work. The state has made three previous investments in the Science Center. This fourth installment brings the state’s total investment in the Science Center to $8.2 million.

Governor Quinn stated, “Illinois’ college students deserve inspiring spaces that provide all the tools they need to learn and grow.”

Brother James Gaffney, FSC, President of Lewis University said, “We are very grateful to Governor Quinn, the General Assembly and the State of Illinois for the provision of vital financial support for the construction of our state-of-the-art Science Center.” The 50,000 square-foot addition of the Science Center features 12 labs, six prep labs, eight research facilities, three conference rooms, classrooms with Smart Boards, faculty/staff offices and gathering spaces with terrazzo floors. The top level of the three-story $18 million structure features biology labs, the second floor focuses on chemistry areas, and the lower level is dedicated to physics.

“Since its opening in 2012, the return on investment is evident through significantly increased enrollment in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields,” Brother Gaffney noted. “Our students have made impressive national presentations on their real-world research, and the University has developed many new partnerships with scientific research firms in the area.”

Significant growth in STEM majors contributed significantly to the record enrollment since the Science Center opened at Lewis University. There is a rapidly growing number of undergraduate students majoring in Biochemistry, Biology, Chemical Physics, Chemistry, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Data Science, Environmental Science, Forensic Criminal Investigation, Information Security, Mathematics, Physics, Pre-Engineering and Pre-Pharmacy.

“Not only am I ecstatic about what Governor Quinn has announced for my university, as a science alumnus from Lewis University, I could not think of a better resource for Illinois tax dollars than (the Lewis University Science Center) here today,” Dr. Arvid Johnson, President of University of St. Francis, said after the announcement. The University of St. Francis received $1,293,693 for renovation of the former Mode Theater in Joliet.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,700 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit for further information.

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