Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Jan. 21, 2010
Today Brock University officially opened the 20,000-sq.-ft. extension of Robert S. K. Welch Hall — home to the Faculty of Education for the past 40 years.
The $8.5-million addition to the building originally constructed in 1970 is the first “Student Learning Environment” project completed as part of The Campaign for a Bold New Brock.
With more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 150 faculty, staff and faculty advisors, this extension brings all members of the Faculty of Education at Brock’s St. Catharines campus under one roof.
“The extension of Faculty of Education facilities that we are officially opening today significantly expands the University’s footprint in our community,” said Jack Lightstone, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Research by this Faculty changes the way our future generations are educated, whether it’s better understanding the links between poverty and education, or exploring teachers’ attitudes and strategies for working with shy children in the classroom.”
“Today is the culmination of a long journey. It has taken more than four years for this project to bring us to today — a day when we celebrate the opportunities for increased collaboration and collegiality,” said James Heap, Dean of the Faculty of Education. “The building’s inspirational and innovative spaces, as well as its accessibility features, are all wonderful examples of a philosophy and plan being brought to life by many talented and committed individuals.”
The new extension to the building will support research at Brock by providing state-of-the-art learning facilities and informal spaces for students and faculty to interact and engage in the kind of conversations that lead to some of the best ideas and research discoveries.
“The Faculty of Education is helping to prepare the next generation of teachers, but also enhancing the skills of our current teachers through the additional qualification courses that are offered here at Brock,” said Rudi Kroeker, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “This kind of support may not be visible to the broader community on a day-to-day basis, but I can tell you that they’re making a difference to the front line of education right here in our community, in classrooms throughout our region.”
This new space will also provide a boost to the Faculty’s graduate program, which is the largest graduate program on campus. Students from all over the world come to Brock to study in this high-demand program, which continues to grow with the recent additions of a PhD in Educational Studies and the International Student Program MEd.
“I am honoured to be able to represent the students of our Faculty at this extension opening event,” said Danielle Beckett, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education who hails from St. Catharines. “This space provides so many opportunities for better collaboration with other students and with faculty members for graduate students such as myself.”
The extension includes two Faculty meeting rooms, a Teaching Assistants’ office, a graduate student computer lab/suite and 62 Faculty offices. A student lounge area will be located at the lowest level along with new study spaces on each floor.