Roberts Wesleyan College Announces New Golisano Community Engagement Center

On August 29, Roberts Wesleyan College President Deana Porterfield unveiled plans for their new student union and community center. Construction of the Golisano Community Engagement Center is being made possible by a $7.5 million gift from Paychex founder and philanthropist Tom Golisano.

SWBR, a longtime partner of the college, is designing the new $13.5 million, 25,000 SF center, which will be the first building on campus to provide a central meeting space for student groups, commuters, adult students, and the community.

Located on Westside Drive, the new building will sit along a main pedestrian path between the dorm buildings and main campus. Each interior space will be designed with multipurpose use in mind to support the college’s initiatives and commitment to the greater Rochester community. The design features a double-height lobby space, a small chapel, a 3,000 SF event space, and a commercial kitchen to support both large and small events. In addition to the interior spaces, a large ‘front porch’ will provide social gathering spaces outside.

The second floor will house office suites for various student groups and administration of each of the four new initiatives: Business Solutions Institute, Justice and Security Institute, English Language Institute, and Intellectual and Spiritual Humility Institute.

The exterior design will utilize traditional forms with a contemporary twist to blend nicely with both the campus buildings and adjacent residential area.

“The Golisano Community Engagement Center will be a transformational project for Roberts Wesleyan College. It solidifies and further enhances their commitment to the Rochester community and to traditional and non-traditional students,“ said SWBR Project Manager Ryan Zegarelli, AIA. “In addition to providing a home for each of the new institutes, this building will provide much needed social/gathering space and will become the new heart of the campus.”

The project is set to break ground in the fall of 2020, with completion set for 2021.

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