LRU News

Lenoir-Rhyne University Announces Last Push for Addition to Minges Science Building

Thu Jan 24 2013

HICKORY, N.C. — Lenoir-Rhyne University will announce the beginning of a campaign for the Science Building on Friday, February 1, at 3p.m. in front of the Minges Science Building on campus (Note: this date is rescheduled from the original date of Jan. 25). In the event of inclement weather, it will be held in the portico of the Lineberger Building.  This event is intended to introduce the final phase of fundraising for the $25 million, 35,000 square foot addition to the Minges Science Building and a complete renovation of the existing building.  Faculty, students, and the Hickory community are invited and encouraged to attend this important event.

Dr. Wayne Powell, President of Lenoir-Rhyne University, said “In building the Science Complex, Lenoir-Rhyne is preparing the next generation of leaders for this region. In addition, this construction project will have a significant economic impact on the local economy.”  The first phase of the project will be a 35,000 square foot addition to the existing Minges Science Building.  The second phase will be a complete renovation of the existing science building. When completed, the Science Complex will more than double the space devoted to science education, increasing the present 33,000 square feet to 68,000 square feet. Construction phases will begin when Lenoir-Rhyne has completed raising the needed funds for the two separate phases.

The new facility will enhance the education of L-R students, preparing them for science and health-care careers of the future. It is anticipated that it will bring as many as 100 additional students to campus to pursue these degrees.  Also, the construction phase will provide a much-needed economic stimulus to the region.  “This project is a response to the crucial need for science education in Western North Carolina,” Dr. Powell observed. “We see the new science complex as having a significant economic impact on the region, both through its construction and through its ability to prepare more young people in the area for the jobs of the future.”

Michael R. Blackburn, retired CEO of Frye Regional Medical Center, said “Frye Regional Medical Center has a longstanding relationship with Lenoir-Rhyne University. Frye serves as a clinical site for more than 150 LRU nursing students every year. These students rotate through each of our major service areas, gaining knowledge and experience in cardiology, oncology, surgical and women’s services. “LRU is the only BSN program in Hickory. With the expectation of continued growth of nursing jobs in the healthcare sector, Frye values the professional well-rounded BSN graduates that LRU brings into our community. We are excited about LRU’s plans for renovation and expansion of the Minges Science Building. It’s a win-win proposition for Frye and the Hickory metropolitan area.”

The Science Complex will also allow Lenoir-Rhyne to educate more science education majors to help meet the growing need for these professionals. There is a shortage of science and math teachers in North Carolina and throughout the country. The Science Complex is designed to promote the latest techniques in science education, including team teaching and learning, and will encourage a growth in undergraduate research.

The Science Complex will include new state-of-the-art laboratories and classrooms. It will also update and enhance the facilities of the Minges Science Building, which first opened 50 years ago. Additional information regarding plans for the Science Building can be found online at

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