William Jessup celebrates expansion, new facilities

By: Anne Stokes, Placer Herald Correspondent
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When William Jessup University students arrive on Aug. 29, they will finally have access to $17 million worth of expansion and new facilities on the Rocklin campus. Waiting for students will be 54,000 square feet of new facilities, including a 19,400-square-foot dining area, six new classrooms, a music building with 11 music practice rooms, and an athletic complex with a new arena with seating for nearly 1,100 spectators. Since breaking ground in July of 2011, University officials have worked to convert several warehouses originally built for Herman Miller furniture into state-of-the-art facilities for its 1,100 students. This is the second major expansion of the private Christian university since it relocated to Rocklin in 2004. In the fall of 2009, William Jessup doubled its on-campus housing capacity by opening a state-of-the-art, 192-bed apartment building complex. “A lot of people have asked why $17 million at a time like this?” said William Jessup University’s Chief Development Officer Eric Hogue. “Since the Spring of 2009 to where we sit for the Fall semester coming in, we have doubled in size as far as enrollment. We have high demand for our academics, for our residential life and for the experience at WJU, so we are growing and developing to fit that demand. “What you are experiencing comes from the generosity of about 1,000 donors at WJU and an ever growing list,” Hogue continued. “Our Board of Trustees has been tremendous in their support. The list is long and there have been so many who have contributed so much.” The new dining facility and coffee bar will offer “fresh food delivered fast,” incorporating locally grown and organic options for students to “experience a whole new realm of eating when it comes to university campuses in Northern California,” Hogue noted. But fans of more traditional cafeteria fare won’t be left out. Pizza, the ever present dorm food staple, will be prepared in the dining room’s new pizza oven. Music, one of WJU’s most popular degrees, is now located in an expanded facility, which includes sound-proof studios. The private rooms will be available to students as early or as late as needed. Several new Yamaha pianos have also been installed. The new Warrior arena gymnasium features four team rooms and showers, five athletic staff offices, a training/therapy room with state-of-the-art hydrotherapy equipment, laundry facility and video recording booth. The new sports arena has seating for 1,100 spectators. “The new facilities are going to provide our teams with a great home, probably one of the top places in the conference to play now. So we’re really excited for teams to come here to see what God’s built here,” said Sports Information Director Jeff Bussell, who also serves as Associate Head Coach for the men’s basketball program. “I think it will make a big difference as far as our recruiting and also our impact in the league.” Senior Michelle Alva, an outreach coordinator with the campus’ Student Leadership organization, toured the new facilities recently and was impressed with the new renovations. “I will be a faithful cheerleader for all athletic sports,” she said “The gym looks amazing. It’s just all so surreal. We’ve been seeing pictures of this ever since I came in as a freshman and now it’s here.” Founded in 1939 and located on 128 acres in Rocklin, William Jessup University is the only WASC-accredited private four-year residential university to have its main campus located in the greater Sacramento area. ________ Know and Go: William Jessup University Facility expansion grand opening When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today Where: 333 Sunset Boulevard,Rocklin