Construction and Building Enhancements Underway at SBU and Siena

Karen Karaszewski Around the Province


The Thomas Merton Center in the midst of demolition. (Photo courtesy of Denny Wilkins)

Major construction projects that will enhance student and community life are underway at the two Province-sponsored colleges.

At St. Bonaventure University in Western New York, a new home for University Ministries is being constructed. The McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry in the heart of campus will replace the former Merton Center. Demolition of the Merton Center began at the end of June and the new center is expected to be complete in the middle of the spring 2017 semester.

The building is named for the McGinley family, whose foundation donated $2.5 million for the project, and recently retired university president Sr. Margaret Carney.

The new ministry center is being constructed in the same location as the Merton Center. It will include a great room for larger assemblies, meeting rooms, a state-of-the-art conference room, a full kitchen and an Interfaith Tower”.

Spillman-Farmer of Bethlehem, Pa., is the architectural firm for the center and Fr. Richard S. Vosko, of the Albany, N.Y. Diocese is providing assistance. Duggan and Duggan of Allegany, N.Y., is the general contractor on the project.

Also, the board of directors of Mt. Irenaeus is providing $30,000 to benefit the new center. This gift is emblematic of the strong relationship between the Mountain and the University that has lasted more than 30 years.

Francis Di Spigno, OFM, executive director of University Ministries, said, “The new McGinley-Carney Center for Franciscan Ministry will forever be an outward sign of our Franciscan heritage and mission firmly rooted in the center of campus. This new center is exciting for all of us and a great testimony to the legacy of the Franciscan friars who have come before us. It is also an incredible witness of the generous spirit of so many good people who support the Franciscan charism and, what I think, makes St. Bonaventure University a unique and wonderful place.”

Mt. Irenaeus friars and staff members will share office space with University Ministries in the new McGinley-Carney Center.

Siena College
At Siena College, outside Albany, the Alumni Recreation Center (ARC) and Marcelle Athletic Complex is undergoing a major three-year renovation. Highlights of the $13.5 million, multi-phase project include a new men’s and women’s basketball practice facility, additional ARC seating and a new event entrance, new student athlete strength and conditioning and sports medicine suites, and an expanded and enhanced student, faculty and staff fitness center. project launched the day after Siena’s 2016 commencement and is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018. CHA Companies are serving as the architects, and Turner Construction is carrying out the construction of the project, which is part of the college’s ongoing capital investment plan.

“We are excited to be moving this ARC and MAC renovation project forward,” said Siena College Vice President and Director of Athletics John D’Argenio. “Along with enhancing the facility for the student athletes, we will be more than doubling the recreational space available to students, faculty and staff.”

The project will be conducted in a series of phases. Phase 1 is scheduled to be complete in spring of 2018 and includes enhancements to the student, faculty and staff fitness center. Phase 2 features the addition of an 8,725-square foot second story to the Callanan Field House Fitness Center that will overlook the baseball field. The air-conditioned facility will include ample weight and cardio training equipment for the Siena community.

Another significant project on the Siena campus is the repurposing of one half of the lower level section of the Standish Library into a digital scholarship center. It will be the first of its kind on campus and will include a classroom adjacent to the lab. Other summer projects include upgrades and enhancements to several residence halls, buildings and student labs.

–  Karen Karaszewski is a freelance writer in Western New York.

Related Links