USF Celebrates Opening of $54 million Center for Science & Innovation

New building named after beloved Jesuit priest

SAN FRANCISCO (September 27, 2013)

The University of San Francisco (USF) today will celebrate the opening of its brand new John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation with a ribbon-cutting event at 2 p.m. Today's commemoration of the center ushers in a new era of science education at the University of San Francisco and transforms the very heart of campus.

The university's first major construction project of the new millennium is serving the undergraduate population of approximately 6,000 students who are required to take one science and math course as part of USF's general curriculum. The stunning 59,000-square-foot, five-level center houses 17 classrooms-two tiered digital classrooms, four general classrooms, and eleven teaching laboratories. The main lecture areas consist of breakout spaces with flat screen monitors, plug-ins for laptops, white boards, and other technology to encourage the interplay between formal lectures and informal, activity-based learning.

"The John Lo Schiavo Center for Science and Innovation is an exciting resource for developing future minds and academic programs at USF," said USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J. "It boldly exemplifies the university's commitment to the sciences and ignites a passion for discovery."

The new center also introduces a new approach to teaching science. Rather than having each scientific discipline segregated and isolated to a particular floor, Lo Schiavo Science's design promotes the cross-pollination of ideas by integrating different sciences and preparation laboratories on the same floor.

Designed with a sustainable focus, the center is on track to achieve LEED Gold Certification by the United States Green Building Council. To reduce strain on the city's combined storm and sewer infrastructure, 100-percent of the rainwater falling on the site is filtered and captured within a 28,000-gallon on-campus cistern to offset use of water for non-potable purposes. In addition, the building's glass façade and multiple skylights provide natural light to students and faculty, while the transparent nature of the design provides direct glimpses of learning for all on campus to see and interact with. Even the laboratories located in the lower level have natural light via skylights, reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Just outside the doors of the center, two contemporary plazas redefine the center of campus. These gathering spaces welcome the entire university community and are beautifully landscaped with indigenous plants.

"With this dedication, we honor former university president and current chancellor Father John Lo Schiavo, for his contributions to the University of San Francisco and beyond," said USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J. Known fondly as "Fr. Lo," this native San Franciscan's connection with USF dates back to 1950. He is a revered priest, teacher, administrator, mentor, and friend to generations of USF students and San Franciscans from all walks of life. "John models the Jesuit ideal of being a man for others, and we are proud to recognize his legacy by naming our most ambitious campus project to date in his honor."

USF partnered with architecture firm NBBJ for the building's design and Cahill Contractors for construction. Groundbreaking took place in December of 2010, and the building was completed in time for fall classes in August 2013.

Today's campus celebration will begin at 2 p.m. in the plaza of Lo Schiavo Science. Most direct street entrance is Golden Gate Avenue at Kittredge Terrace.

For more information, or to schedule an interview about USF's new John Lo Schiavo Center for Science and Innovation, please contact Anne-Marie Devine 415.422.2697 or

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world's most innovative and spectacular cities. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student's passion for social justice and a desire to "Change the World from Here." For more information, please visit