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Board of Trustees Hears Update on Campaign North Park, New Building Plans

Science and Community Life Building
Fundraising for a new $42 million Science and Community Life Building is a "top priority," said University President David L. Parkyn.

Fundraising top priority for president, development office

CHICAGO (February 21, 2012) – The president of North Park University, Dr. David L. Parkyn, told the University board of trustees that there is significant progress toward the goal of initiating construction on a new $42 million Science and Community Life Building. Fundraising continues to be a "top priority" of his office and the University Office of Development, he reported.

The University first began consideration of a new Science and Community Life Building as early as 2008, Parkyn said to the board, which met here Feb. 10-11. When finally completed, the project will "transform the face of the campus," he said. "Much more than that, it will transform the student experience both in and outside the classroom," Parkyn said.

At present, the University is working assertively to raise funds for the new building, part of Campaign North Park, Parkyn said. Plans for the new structure have been informed by several charrettes with faculty and staff who will lead academic and University programs to be housed in the new building, Parkyn said. Academic and student life programs assigned to the new building have been confirmed. The University has been working with VOA Associates, Inc., Chicago, to design the building, the University president said.

The board of trustees met Feb. 10-11 at North Park University.

Representing VOA, William Ketcham described preliminary building plans to the board. The building design is a work in progress and continues to evolve, he said. "It's about a place in the urban environment, it's about a spirit of community engagement with people in a place advancing education, advancing the mission of this institution," Ketcham said.

Among the organizations the University has consulted with are Health Education Research Associates Inc., for design assistance on science laboratories and other instructional spaces. The University has also contracted with the Boldt Company to serve as owner's representative and to facilitate the construction process, employing integrated project delivery techniques, Parkyn said.

During the board meeting, VOA architects met with the board's Advancement Committee to discuss ways to recognize donors in the building's design. Boldt Company representatives met with the board's Finance Committee to introduce their role, and to facilitate a discussion regarding the price for the building and an initial construction calendar.

In addition to $42 million for the new building, Campaign North Park set goals of $8 million for University's Annual Fund; $6 million for scholarships; and $1 million for Chicago-based academic programs and faculty development. Fund raising continues for all campaign goals.

The board received reports on other matters:

  • Parkyn reported that undergraduate enrollment at mid-year continues to be strong, while enrollment has softened in some graduate programs.
  • The president presented ideas on how the University can continue to feature and effectively communicate its mission and identity to various constituencies.
  • The board received a report from the Seminary Leadership Committee, and affirmed the Rev. Dr. David Kersten as the nominee for dean of North Park Theological Seminary. Kersten's nomination must be affirmed by leadership bodies of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), and he is expected to move into his new role Aug. 1.
The North Park University board of trustees' next meeting is May 10-11, 2012, in Chicago.

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