The more than $12 million effort to establish a Saint Francis University campus in downtown Fort Wayne has taken another step forward. The school has hired Allen County-based Design Collaborative Inc. to lead the project, which includes renovations to the former Chamber of Commerce and Scottish Rite Center buildings. During an interview last month on Inside INdiana Business Television, President Sister Elise Kriss and Vice President For Academic Affairs Andrew Prall discussed the importance of having a presence downtown. June 25, 2014

News Release

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The University of Saint Francis has awarded its downtown campus project to Fort Wayne architecture and engineering firm Design Collaborative. The project will bring together the former Fort Wayne Area Chamber of Commerce building and Scottish Rite Center into learning space and opportunities for students to study new and established programs in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne.

The design will include renovations to the Chamber of Commerce building to accommodate programs offered there, including a new Risk Management and Insurance degree, in the new home of the Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership.

The USF Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center in the former Scottish Rite Center will also see some renovation, although no major modifications are planned for the auditorium in order to preserve its historic elements. A consultant will work with Design Collaborative to ensure the design considers the historic nature of the structures.

As the new location for USF's Music Technology Program, the USF Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center's west end will, in collaboration with USF's music consultants, contain specially designed space to meet the program's acoustic and technical needs. The building's western portion will also hold the classrooms and technology for the Media Entrepreneurship Training in the Arts (META) program.

The project size is approximately 69,700 square feet. Design work is set to begin Aug. 1. Construction is expected to begin in 2015.

“We're excited about this project,” said Design Collaborative partner Ron Dick. “It brings together a long-time partner in USF and our passion for the development of downtown Fort Wayne, so we couldn't be more thrilled to see this happen for the university. We’re also pleased to have the opportunity to preserve these two important buildings and repurpose them to create places of learning and growth for future entrepreneurs who will continue to grow our city.”

“We are happy to not only see a long-held dream becoming reality, but to be part of the momentum that is transforming downtown Fort Wayne,” said USF President, Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF. “The university is proud to partner with Fort Wayne and other businesses to contribute to a vibrant downtown that represents an economic boon to the community.”

The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs through the School of Health Sciences, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership and School of Creative Arts. In addition to its traditional programs, the university designs focused curriculum for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point on online. More than 2,400 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence.

Source: The University of Saint Francis

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