Science Center Renovation and Other Campus Improvements

Campaign goal: $5,000,000

The second floor labs and offices of the Palumbo Science Center are in dire need of a complete makeover. Tired, worn and out of date, these facilities have served the University well since they were constructed more than 35 years ago, but they are becoming inadequate to the demands of STEM programs today.

Outdated facilities put the University at a competitive disadvantage to other institutions with more modern facilities. In order to sustain our growing enrollment in the sciences and maintain the successful outcomes of our students, the entire second floor of the science building will be demolished internally and completely rebuilt with an expanded, modern design that reflects today’s most effective learning environments.

Deficiencies of Current Facilities

  • Obsolete ventilation systems and fume hoods 
  • Inadequate HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems 
  • Aging eye-wash stations 
  • Overcrowded prep/clean-up and storage areas 
  • Insufficient cabinetry for housing inventories of chemicals and biological organisms 
  • Inferior accessibility to work tables and obstructed sight lines between faculty and students 
  • Worn lab sinks and work spaces 

Supporting Enrollment Growth in the Sciences

In light of the continued demand for STEM majors and the competitive environment for qualified students, La Roche’s strong enrollment trends are likely not to be sustainable without a complete revamping of our suite of science labs, classrooms, common spaces and offices.

The demand for STEM professionals is reflected in La Roche’s student population. The Division of Natural and Behavioral Sciences is the fastest growing academic division at La Roche. Undergraduate enrollment in STEM majors has increased by 70 percent over the past 10 years.

10-Year Growth Rate in Selected Programs

  • Biology/Biochemistry: 47%
  • Chemistry: 150%
  • Computer Science: 175%
  • Criminal Justice: 47%

The planned renovation will result in an entirely new science center, with the amenities and features that are conducive to the changing nature of STEM education in a more interactive and hands-on environment.

The Sister Mary Joan Coultas Seminar Room

Former President Sister Mary Joan Coultas was beloved by the many students who came to know her during their time on campus. Her former students and colleagues are mounting a campaign to raise funds in her honor to name a prominent space in the newly renovated science center, The Sister Mary Joan Coultas Seminar Room. The room will feature glass walls and state-of-the-art technology, serving a central role in the Science Center—much as Sister Mary Joan has in the history and success of La Roche.

How to Give

Checks payable to La Roche University can be sent to:

University Advancement
La Roche University
9000 Babcock Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

Gifts also can be made online

For questions or to make a gift of marketable securities, please contact:

Michael Andreola, CFRE
Vice President for University Advancement
412-536-1096
michael.andreola@laroche.edu