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Brady Butler, Director
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Pittsburgh, June 17, 2010 – The John J. Wright Library at La Roche College is undergoing a $1.6 million renovation this summer and will reopen for the fall 2010 semester with enhancements that make the facility a “21st century learning environment,” according to President Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D.

The renovation, which received its original impetus from interior and graphic design student projects, began in early May, just after the college’s commencement exercises. The Design Alliance, Pittsburgh, is the architectural firm for the project; Massaro Corporation of Pittsburgh is the general contractor. Funding was provided by generous donors and a challenge grant during a 2009 campaign. The project has a price tag of approximately $1.6 million and will provide updates to the entire first floor of the building. A summer 2008 renovation of the lower level created classroom and laboratory space for the college’s top two majors of interior and graphic design.

The library will be outfitted with features that make it an advanced learning environment for all who use it, including pod study areas, a portable language laboratory, information literacy and presentation room, media screening facilities, and wireless technology and software-enabling communications. These amenities make the library valuable to the students and community members who use the facility, according to Sister Candace.

“We exist in an age when the campus library must operate as a complete learning center – a hub of technology that, at the same time, offers comfortable surroundings conducive to learning. This renovation will allow us to restore the library to its former prominence as the intellectual focus of our learning community,” she said.

Furnishings within the library will get a facelift, too, thanks to interior design graduates from La Roche who are taking on the task of reupholstering the existing furniture, which dates back to the late 1960s. Anthony Allgeier and Erin Roberts will manage this job.

“Both Erin and myself have always appreciated the [style of the] library furniture,” said Allgeier, a May 2010 graduate of the La Roche Interior Design Program. “Not so much for its current condition, but for its overall classic/retro design. The furniture is beautiful, and we would hate to see it go to waste.” What isn’t used within the library itself, he noted, will find a home in several of the college’s residence hall lounges.

Renovations are slated for completion prior to the start of the fall semester on Aug. 30. A rededication ceremony will take place on Thursday, Sept. 16, at which the La Roche College community, donors and the general public will be able to tour the new facility.

About La Roche College: A private, Catholic, co-educational college north of Pittsburgh founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche welcomes students of all religions, ethnic origins and talents. Undergraduates may choose from more than 50 majors, including the top 10 majors among today’s college students. La Roche combines educational experience with clubs, athletics, social and community volunteer activities, spiritual well-being, and more to offer students preparation for life in a constantly changing global society.

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