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April 18, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU plans Patterson Hall ribbon cutting

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - A ribbon-cutting ceremony and the opening of a time capsule sealed in 1958 will highlight the re-dedication of Slippery Rock University's Patterson Hall at 3 p.m., April 25, in the building's lobby.

The new academic building was remodeled from a former campus residence hall. It is now the home of the exercise and rehabilitative sciences, parks and recreation and criminology and criminal justice departments, SRU's Honors Program and the Office of Grants and Sponsored Research Office. A few art classes are also offered in the building.

The building, constructed in 1958 as a men's dormitory, was named for Lewis Patterson who donated the land on which the original buildings of the Slippery Rock State Normal School were built in 1889. SRU is currently celebrating its 125h anniversary with a yearlong celebration of its founding.

"We recovered the time capsule as part of the renovation work," said Pearl Shaffer, associate director of alumni engagement and event planner for the dedication. Items found in the capsule will be displayed in the building's renovated lobby.

Emma Guffey Miller, then-president of the SRU Council of Trustees and for whom SRU's Miller Auditorium is named, applied the last bit of cement to seal the cornerstone that held the time capsule in place.

Susan Hannam, dean of SRU's College of Health, Environment and Science, and Patricia Pierce, chair of the exercise and rehabilitative sciences, will be among the dedication speakers.

A $2.6 million addition to the former residence hall provided space for new classrooms, exercise laboratories and student-faculty research space for the department of exercise and rehabilitative sciences.

The two-story, 8,100-square-foot addition added a new building front, a resistance-training laboratory and new classrooms on the first floor and a Multipurpose Exercise Room on the second floor. A compliment of exercise equipment, including treadmills and elliptical machines, used for teaching students, is part of the laboratory.

The high-tech equipment makes use of flash drive computer technology, allowing students to log on to the devises, receive fitness instruction and then save the data on flash drives to track their progress in becoming more fit or devising workouts for themselves or a community client.

Jeff Lynn, associate professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, has called the facility an "investment in the future."

"We've got two floors of new teaching space. To my knowledge, we're going to be the most advanced University when it comes to teaching students by combining technology with exercise prescription," Lynn said.

Carena Winters, assistant professor of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, said, "We have the latest technology, which is essential for keeping up with the field and keeping students on the cutting edge in terms of marketability for employment."

The building opened for classes last fall.

Patterson was converted into an academic building beginning in 2008 before being expanded. The University saved an estimated $15 million in new construction costs by repurposing Patterson.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.