Rider receives $1.45 million for Science Building Renovation Project

Project to overhaul eight science-focused instructional spaces impacting 1,000 students annually

Thanks to the State of New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to enhancing higher education institutions, and committed Rider University alumni, faculty and staff, Rider is making excellent progress toward its total $2.1 million goal to renovate its Science and Technology Center.

The State of New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks recently announced that Rider is among a select number of institutions to receive a grant in support of a capital construction project that will “boost technology, support the health sciences and renovate laboratories and classrooms.” Sixty-three applications were submitted, and 35 higher education capital projects were awarded, including Rider, which will receive $1 million to renovate the ground floor of the Science and Technology Center. 

Rider’s three-story Science and Technology Center is one of 43 structures on Rider’s 280-acre Lawrenceville campus. Renovations will take place on the first floor of the original 30,000 square foot science building that was built in 1961. The 8,378 square foot Renovation Project consists of eight science instructional spaces, as well as adjacent passageways, and includes: one lecture hall with instructional technology, three multipurpose laboratories, one laboratory preparation room that will be converted to an advanced computer laboratory outfitted with high performance computers for data analysis, a storage space that will be converted to a laboratory preparation space, one science classroom with moveable workstations, a vivarium (for the observation and research of living animals), two vestibules, and a central corridor. An addition to the original science building was constructed in 1994, creating a complex of 70,380 square feet. 

The University was also fortunate to receive a first-time, $100,000 contribution toward this endeavor from the George I. Alden Trust of Worcester, Mass. The George I. Alden Trust makes periodic capital grants to small, independent institutions of higher education in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the six New England states. Established in 1912, the Trust supports institutions that “demonstrate a combination of educational excellence, exciting programming, and efficient and effective administration.”

“We’re proud to have established a relationship with the George I. Alden Trust in support of the Science Building Renovation Project,” says Rider’s president, Gregory Dell’Omo. “The Trust’s commitment to higher education and keen insights regarding the future of higher education make it an influential and thoughtful philanthropic leader. We couldn’t be happier to have received leadership contributions from complementary sources, such as the State of New Jersey, the George I. Alden Trust, and a respected alumnus, boardmember and influential member of the community, Dr. Bruce DiDonato ’76.”

DiDonato is among a number of Rider alumni, faculty and staff who have made generous donations to the construction project.

“Dr. DiDonato is among Rider’s most generous and impactful donors,” says Jonathan Millen, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “His leadership gift to the Project has inspired many others to make their contributions. As an optometrist, he understands the need for state-of-the-art instructional spaces to train the next generation of medical, healthcare, and science professionals.”

The Science Building Renovation Project has also benefitted from the generosity and commitment of Rider’s Science Advisory Board, under the leadership of Chairman Gary Nath ’66.

“Each year, approximately 1,000 students take classes in the rooms that will be renovated, Millen says. We look forward to continuing to fundraise for this critically important project.”

More about the Science Building Renovation Project may be found at