Delaware Valley College awarded $3.2 million for life science center

Jan 20, 2011

Delaware Valley College was awarded a $3.2 million state grant to help construct a $15 million signature building that would house studies in the life sciences.

“This funding continues the momentum of moving the college forward,” said
Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan, college president. The momentum, he said, began building in September with a $30 million gift from the Warwick Foundation, which is operated by the Gemmill family.

Recently, DelVal began plans to attain university status, which will require more master’s programs and a doctoral program. Dr. Brosnan called the award a “cornerstone not only for the new building, but for DelVal’s move towards university status.”

The Bucks County Commissioners, who will administer the state grant, presented the award at their regular meeting.


President Brosnan (center) with Bucks County Commissioners Charles Martin and Diane Ellis-Marseglia

“We have a very good track record of working with the college,” said Bucks County Commissioner Chairman Charles H. Martin. “We look forward to seeing the college progress…Anything we can do to attract more students to Bucks County and its institutions is a good thing.”

Life Science refers to the use of science and technology to improve the health and well-being of people, animals and the environment. It is grounded in the basic sciences of biology, chemistry, agricultural science, pharmaceutical science and veterinary science.

“The Life Science Center will accommodate the growing demand among our students for study and research in these fields,” said Wendy Connuck, DelVal’s director of corporate and foundation relations. “This center will advance the college’s distinctive applied learning and multidisciplinary approach to the life sciences and will strengthen the college’s strategic commitment to become an even more connected and valuable asset to the community.”

Dr. Brosnan thanked the commissioners for their assistance and gave special recognition to State Sen. Chuck McIlhinney and his chief of staff Heather Cevasco. Sen. McIlhinney supplied the critical support for the grant and guided it through the Senate.

The grant was part of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, used for economic, cultural, civic and historical improvement projects. It will be matched with $3 million from the Warwick Foundation’s gift. Additional funding will come from loans and other gifts and grants.

The 31,600-square-foot facility will increase DelVal’s visibility as a leader in the life sciences. Preliminary plans include classrooms, a lecture hall and state-of-the-art laboratories. Once an architect is selected, the design phase is expected to take approximately 11 months. Construction on the campus quad near Route 202 and New Britain Road could begin in the fall of 2012.

DelVal will use the center to accommodate the rising number of students studying the life sciences and to attract more students in these growing fields.

Currently, nearly 40 percent of DelVal undergraduates are majoring in life sciences, including animal biotechnology & conservation, biology and chemistry.

DelVal has a philosophy of applied learning and stresses multidisciplinary approaches to problems. Courses taught in the new center will stress the importance of crossing traditionally defined discipline boundaries to find solutions to real-world problems.

The center also will be used to support DelVal’s expansion of its adult education programs, for research partnerships and as a new businesses incubator.