FORT WAYNE – After stressing the relationship between faith and science, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades blessed the Achatz Phase 1 Expansion on the morning of Jan. 16 at the University of Saint Francis.
The bishop went from room to room in the newest part of Achatz Hall of Science and Research Center, sprinkling holy water during the blessing.
“What a beautiful addition, right next to our beautiful new St. Francis Chapel,” he said. “Just to be able to look out the window and see the mission of the University of Saint Francis, the dialogue between faith and reason.”
He encouraged USF students to take full advantage of the new opportunities afforded by the expansion of Achatz Hall.
“Science teaches us so much and continues with new discoveries,” he said. “As Catholics, we affirm and uphold the compatibility of faith and science. Good theology helps in this. We believe all things exist by God’s wisdom and power.”
The expansion of Achatz Hall of Science and Research Center is part of a larger project at USF, which also includes the construction of St. Francis Chapel and renovation of the older parts of Achatz.
Completion of Phase 2 of the project, the renovation of older parts of Achatz Hall and final touches on the chapel, is expected later this year.
“Achatz Hall will be a great asset for workforce development for the community, as USF students will have the opportunity to utilize tools, instruments and technology they will encounter when they embark on their professional careers,” USF’s president, Sister M. Elise Kriss, said.
Other speakers at the blessing included Dr. Matt Smith, vice president of institutional advancement; Dr. Lance Richey, vice president of Academic Affairs; Dr. Andrea Geyer, interim dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Meagan Roy, biology-pre-veterinary student; Bill Niezer, chairman of the board; and Jon Gilmore, president of Tonn and Blank Construction.
Students returned to campus the week of Jan. 14 and began using the expanded areas of Achatz Hall, which consists of five additional science labs, an imaging center, computer science lab, instrument lab, cadaver lab, observatory terrace and outside classroom. There are three additional classrooms, two conference rooms, isolated storage for biological wastes, glass storage, a gas tank service room and other amenities. Students are also utilizing new study areas throughout the building.
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