News & Updates

Time for a new Westlake Hall

While rain fell outside, Bradley trustees, faculty, students, alumni and local legislators stayed dry inside the gymnasium of the Markin Family Student Recreation Center on Thursday for the groundbreaking ceremony for Westlake Hall’s $22 million expansion and renovation.

From left to right: Marcus Belin '10, elementary education major; Dale Risinger, Illinois state senator; Dr. Joan L. Sattler, dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences; Gerry Shaheen '66 MBA '68, chairman of the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance and chairman of the Board of Trustees; President Joanne K. Glasser; David Koehler, Illinois state senator; Brad McMillan, executive director of the Institute for Principled Leadership.

The Westlake Hall renovation and expansion marks the first academic undertaking of Bradley’s $150 million Renaissance Campaign and will be the first major overhaul of the building in more than 50 years. Home to the College of Education and Health Sciences and the Institute for Principled Leadership, the new Westlake Hall will stand four stories tall and six times its current size, growing from 13,500 square feet to 85,000 square feet, while preserving the building’s signature clock tower and limestone shell.

“This is all possible because of the generosity of our alumni and friends, the wisdom of our public officials, and the vision and determination of our University’s leadership to pursue this renaissance campaign with full vigor,” said Gerry Shaheen '66 MBA '68, chairman of the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance and chairman of the Board of Trustees.

“The impact of this facility will be far reaching for education and health care for this generation and for generations to come,” said Dr. Joan L. Sattler, dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences.  “The Westlake Hall clock tower beckons to us, ‘A new generation is coming.  It’s time to get ready.  We have a legacy to pass on.’”

Also speaking at the event were Illinois state senators, Dale Risinger and David Koehler who championed the project in Springfield and succeeded getting nearly $9 million allocated toward the project that will respond to the expected shortage of teachers and health care professionals in the coming years.

“Private institutions have a role, an important role, in moving our state forward and giving more students an opportunity to succeed and enrich their communities,” said Bradley President Joanne K. Glasser. “To Senators Koehler and Risinger, to all legislators here and to all citizens of Illinois, I pledge that Bradley University will use your resources judiciously. We will educate the next generation, and generations to come, of students to become the top teachers and health care professionals in this state.”

The newly-renovated building will include an auditorium, “smart” classrooms and a variety of laboratories, as well as space for students to meet and study and faculty offices.  The building will also meet LEED gold certification standards, which measures qualities such as energy savings, water efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction.

“EHS students have become a close-knit family, in part because we keep bumping into each other,” said elementary education major Marcus Belin '10. “It’s time for us to have some breathing space. The Westlake Hall expansion will be amazing – and I am so glad the university put students at the forefront of the building’s new design.”

The renovation of the 112-year-old building marks the fifth project in the Renaissance Campaign, which was kicked off with the construction of the Markin Family Student Recreation Center and a parking deck along Main Street, both of which opened last fall.  Also under construction and expected to be completed this spring are Bradley’s new athletic arena and Men’s Basketball Practice Facility. The Hayden-Clark Alumni Center had its own groundbreaking ceremony on October. 1 and is expected to be competed within 18 to 24 months.

Private sources of funding will continue to be sought to meet the full cost of the Westlake Hall renovation and expansion project. Major construction of Westlake Hall is expected to begin next summer.