April 22, 2010

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Mount Union College's new science facility is closer to reality with the recent selection of its site, size and name.

Intensive planning efforts by members of the Board of Trustees, the campus community and representatives from the planning group Performa/RFD have resulted in an ambitious schedule that calls for completion of the science facility by fall of 2003. Planning for the facility began in September of 2000 when James and Vanita Oelschlager of Akron announced that they would largely fund a new science facility on the campus.

College officials have reviewed a number of options and have decided that the new facility will be located at the southwest corner of College and Union avenues and will contain about 86,000 gross and 51,000 net square feet at a cost of about $20 million. Moreover, at the request of the Oelschlagers, the Board of Trustees have named the facility Bracy Hall in honor of Carl Bracy, the sixth president of Mount Union College who made a major impact on Mrs. Oelschlager's life when she was a student at Mount Union.

"We are pleased to be able to move forward on this landmark facility," said Dr. John L. Ewing, Jr., president of the College. "There has been a lot of work behind the scenes by a large part of the campus community to get us to this point in the process. Now that we have identified the parameters, we can move forward with selection of architects while obtaining various bids."
Bracy Hall will house the departments of biology, chemistry, geology, physics and astronomy. Currently those departments are housed in Wilson Science Hall and Tolerton and Hood Hall of Science. The new site will displace the Mount Union Theatre parking lot and new spaces will be provided elsewhere on or near the campus.

"We are excited about the location," Dr. Ewing said. "We considered many options including an addition/renovation plan to the existing facilities, but when we listed the pros and cons of each option, the College and Union location proved to be in the best interests of the campus. The new site will allow us to showcase an important piece of our academic program at our east entrance to the campus while keeping our academic core of buildings within close proximity of each other."

According to Dr. Ewing, in the longer term, the new facility will give the College greater flexibility by being able to renovate the existing facilities to better suit the needs of other departments.

According to the College's timeline, design development will begin this summer with construction due to begin in the spring of 2002.

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