$2M Grant Announced for UNR Student Achievement Center - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

$2M Grant Announced for UNR Student Achievement Center

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The University of Nevada has announced a $2 million grant to help build the new student achievement center on campus.

The money for the William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center comes from the Clarence and Martha Jones Family Foundation.

As a result - the second floor of the academic center will be named in honor of University of Nevada alumni, Clarence and Martha Hansen Jones. "My parents always believed in making a difference, particularly when it came to education," said daughter Charlotte Jones McConnell, "and they would agree that this wonderful building will make a real difference for the University and for generations of students."

Once finished, the 75,000 square foot building will unite a variety of student services under one roof. It's expected to break ground this summer and open by 2016.

Clarence worked for Reno Newspapers, Inc. for more than 50 years, while Martha was the organist for the First United Methodist Church in Reno for 25 years. Both were honored extensively for their commitment to the Reno community and the University. Martha received the President's Medal in 1985 and the couple was inducted into the University's Honor Court in 1997. Clarence was honored by the Board of Regents as a Distinguished Nevadan in 1977.

Demolition of the Getchell Library began in mid-December 2013 and construction-site preparation will be complete in early 2014. A groundbreaking for the new William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center is anticipated for summer 2014 with the grand opening slated for early 2016.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $44 million and will be supported by private gifts and the capital improvement fee paid by students. The William N. Pennington Foundation made a $6 million lead gift to name the William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center, representing half of the $12 million in philanthropic support the University is seeking for the center. The facility will be further funded by $21 million in student capital improvement fees and $11 million from the University.

The University of Nevada contributed to this report

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