On January 23, our design team was on hand to celebrate the grand opening of the new Golisano Community Engagement Center at Roberts Wesleyan University. The highly anticipated new center will serve as a hub for connection, community interaction, and student life resources on campus.
The modern 26,167-square-foot, two-story center reflects Roberts Wesleyan’s deeply rooted spiritual and community ties, serving as the first building on campus to provide centralized space for both students and the community to gather and interact. Upon entering through the Parris Family Welcome Center, which includes a visual timeline of the institution’s storied 157-year history, the first floor encompasses 3,000 square feet of event space available for campus functions and rental opportunities.
Among the first-floor amenities are inclusive areas for learning and recreational activity, including a gaming lounge and study spaces for students. Palmer’s Place, a grab-and-go-style café named after Dwight M. (Kip) and Amy Palmer, fifth-generation owners of Rochester-based Palmer Family of Companies, will also be located on the first floor among offices for Student Life and Spiritual Life, and the Rinker Conference Hall named in honor of the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Foundation.
The second floor houses the Offices for Career Development and International Engagement alongside a prayer chapel, commuter lounge, a forensic laboratory, and the Clugston Innovation Conference Room. The second story will also function as a workplace for Roberts Wesleyan’s custom training and certificate programs offered through the Community Institutes. The Community Institutes provide community-focused educational solutions and resources to area businesses and organizations seeking real-world learning experiences, insight and transformational partnerships both locally and abroad.
The new center was made possible by a $7.5 million gift from Paychex founder and philanthropist Tom Golisano, the largest gift in Roberts Wesleyan’s 155-year history. The remaining capital was funded by major donors, partners, alumni, and the University’s fundraising campaign.
SWBR provided architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and structural engineering design services for the project. Home Leasing served as the Design Builder.