St. Norbert College Begins Construction of New Facility to be Named Gehl-Mulva Science Center

From St. Norbert College, February 19, 2013
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, 920-403-3089

St. Norbert College's board of trustees gave approval on Friday, Feb. 15, to begin construction in March on the college's new state-of-the-art science facility, to be named the Gehl-Mulva Science Center. The naming donors are Paul O. and Carol H. Gehl and James J. and Miriam B. Mulva. The new facility will replace John R. Minahan Science Hall, which is almost 50 years old. It will allow St. Norbert faculty and undergraduates to work on the leading edge of science and mathematics.

"We want to thank Paul and Carol Gehl and Jim and Miriam Mulva for their incredible generosity," said Thomas Kunkel, president of St. Norbert College. "The Gehl-Mulva Science Center will truly transform St. Norbert College, and it's because of their support that it's happening now," Kunkel added.

The 150,000-square-foot facility will feature 36 laboratories for research and teaching; small-group workrooms and informal collaborative spaces; wind turbines, a solar voltaic panel and other green technologies; a state-of-the-art greenhouse; a science gallery; and displays honoring the scientific contributions of Norbertines, including noted biologist the Rev. Anselm Keefe, O.Praem., '16.

The Gehl-Mulva Science Center will also house the Medical College of Wisconsin's (MCW) Green Bay campus. The medical college will have its classrooms, offices and some learning laboratories in the new building, with the expectation that the community medical education program will admit its first 15 students in July 2015. The Medical College of Wisconsin plans to work with its academic partners in the Green Bay region -- St. Norbert, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Bellin College -- to identify science faculty members for the community medical education program.

"This arrangement will be unique in many, many ways. We are not aware of another college of our size or type that will have a medical college campus at its location," said Kunkel. "We also think, frankly, that the future of higher education in general is about more and more collaborative opportunities. This is a great example."

The contractor for the new Gehl-Mulva Science Center will be Miron Construction, with a completion date scheduled for the spring of 2015. The total cost of the project is approximately $39.2 million. Construction will be done in phases and will take two years to complete.

About the Naming Donors:

Paul O. and Carol H. Gehl have been long-time supporters of St. Norbert College and its students. Paul, former president and co-founder of Lunda Construction, is a trustee of the college and has served as such since 1991. As chair of the college's building committee, Gehl is proud of the college's $100 million in construction in the last five years. He is an investor with Hilbert Communications and Chairman of Othmar Group, LLC. Paul is a veteran of the United States Air Force and served during the Korean War. Carol, like her husband, grew up in the Hilbert, Wis., area, and they have been strong supporters of their hometown region. Over the years the Gehls have helped support many Hilbert area students who sought a St. Norbert College degree. They also support the local schools and have been benefactors to the Diocese of Green Bay.

Miriam B. and James J. Mulva provided the lead gift toward construction of the St. Norbert College library, which opened in 2009 and bears their names. Miriam, born Miriam Brozyna, grew up close to the college's campus, attended St. Joseph Academy in Green Bay, and graduated from St. Norbert in 1969. She is an active volunteer and a member of the college's board of trustees.

James Mulva is also a De Pere native, whose mother, Phyllis Mulva Martine, worked for several years at St. Norbert College as a member of its library staff. James earned bachelor's and master's degrees in finance from the University of Texas at Austin. A former naval officer, he recently retired as chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips, headquartered in Houston, Texas. James serves on the boards of General Electric, General Motors, Green Bay Packaging and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

St. Norbert College Momentum:

The Gehl-Mulva Science Center project continues the momentum of new construction and new academic experiences at St. Norbert College. Since 2009, St. Norbert has built a new library, a new residence hall, opened the Don Schneider Stadium, renovated the Ariens Family Welcome Center and Todd Wehr Hall, opened Michels Commons, transformed the St. Boniface Church into Dudley Birder Hall, and is currently completing the Cassandra Voss Center for women's and men's initiatives. This marks approximately $100 million in donor-supported construction in less than five years, and contributes to the major initiatives of Campaign St. Norbert: Full Ahead.

St. Norbert College History:

The only Norbertine college in the world, St. Norbert is a four-year, Catholic liberal arts college, devoted to the Norbertine traditions of community, prayer and service to others. Founded in 1898 by Abbot Bernard Pennings as a school to prepare men for the priesthood, St. Norbert College became coeducational in 1952. Today the residential campus serves approximately 2,200 undergraduate and graduate students hailing from throughout the United States and more than 30 countries, and offers study-abroad opportunities in 29 countries.

St. Norbert College is located on the banks of the Fox River in the residential community of De Pere, Wis., neighboring Green Bay -- a metropolitan area of more than 200,000, rich in culture, business and opportunity. The academic excellence of the college is nationally recognized by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges.