Dedicated for the Future
The University formally dedicated Westlake Hall, the second oldest building on campus, on Founder's Day after the structure underwent a $24 million renovation and redesign.
By Frank Radosevich II
October 12, 2012
For more than 100 years Bradley students have worked and learned in the classrooms of Westlake Hall, the second oldest building on campus. And after two years of construction, the iconic building formally began its new life as a state-of-the-art learning facility.
During its Homecoming celebration on Friday, the University dedicated the building with a ceremony featuring students, faculty, administrators and supporters of the $24 million renovation project.
The renovation, part of Bradley’s $150 million Renaissance Campaign, has expanded the building to four stories tall and six times its former size, growing from 13,500 to 84,500 square feet. Construction began in March 2010 and wrapped up June of this year.
“This premiere academic facility is designed for engaged learning, for a project-based approach to learning and for collaborative learning across disciplinary lines,” Dr. Joan Sattler, dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences, which is housed in Westlake, said during the dedication ceremony. “This design will help our students use state-of-the-art technology to enhance teaching and learning.”
The new Westlake comes equipped with the latest technologies and was constructed to achieve Gold certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which measures qualities such as energy savings, water efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction. Classrooms in Westlake include smart boards, large interactive boards that users can manipulate with tablet computers, and other state-of-the-art technology, such as lecture capture technology.
“Inside you’ll see the original building reborn with a new four-story atrium that’s full of light and full of student activity,” president Joanne Glasser said. “Not only is Westlake a beautiful building of significant history, it has become a model of conservation and sustainability.”
During the Homecoming celebrations, the University also honored three new inductees of the Bradley’s Centurion Society, which recognizes alumni who have brought national and international credit to the University.
They are Nuria White Fernandez '82, chief operating officer of the State of New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority; James Barr '68, retired president of River City Construction in Peoria; and Kary McIlwain '81, president at Y&R in Chicago, formerly Young and Rubicam.
Fernandez, who came to Bradley from Panama, also received the 2012 Distinguished Alumna Award and said she considers Bradley to be her launching pad that sent her on to bigger and better things.
“Without you I wouldn’t be able to stand here today,” she told the crowd of students, faculty, staff and alumni at the Renaissance Coliseum.
Later on Friday, Bradley unveiled a new statue honoring A.J. Robertson, who spent 28 years as a coach and the University’s athletic director. Bradley Associate Professor of Art Fisher Stolz created the 7-foot-tall bronze statue, which features Robertson in baseball attire standing with his right leg propped up on a bench.
Robertson built Bradley athletics from competing against small, local schools to a national basketball powerhouse. His tenure saw 316 basketball wins, the most in school history; 144 football wins, including 27 straight wins in the 1920s; and 244 baseball wins, the most of any coach at Bradley at the time.
“He dedicated his life to the enhancement of the University through athletics,” his son Corky Robertson said at the unveiling ceremony, “and I think he did a pretty good job.”