Skip to Content


"Grand Reopening" celebrates Heelan Hall's transformation


(+) View Full Screen

PHOTO GALLERY: Use the top right arrows to browse images.


Mar 27, 2014 • By Katie Lefebvre, Catholic Globe Bookmark and Share


SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Construction is done and the reactions are in describing the newly refurbished Heelan Hall at Briar Cliff in Sioux City – amazing, wonderful and fantastic.

“The transformation of Heelan Hall is remarkable,” said Bev Wharton, president at Briar Cliff. “Our architects and contractors did a spectacular job of combining the original and modern features of this – our historic jewel on campus. The newly-created space provides an urban setting, which particularly impresses our many alumni and visitors.”

She added the expansive addition to Heelan Hall, the Roth Atrium, offers “a relaxing ambiance for studying, conversing and gathering. And our new general purpose classrooms and labs are state-of-the-art learning facilities.”

[The grand re-opening of Heelan Hall was held on March 27 at Briar Cliff »]

Wharton said the university is focused “on the learners of today and tomorrow. Our academic setting is our highest priority and it was time to improve Heelan Hall – the original building and main academic center on campus.”

BCU received many gifts from individuals and businesses, including the Diocese of Sioux City, a supporter of Briar Cliff University. The university also received contributions from alumni and the employees of Briar Cliff University.

Elizabeth Mangan, a junior biology major at BCU from Sioux City, started college during the construction process. Because of her major, she is enjoying the new science labs on the second floor in Heelan Hall.


“I like the new look and feel of the new classrooms, especially the nursing lab.”

— Ethan Neff, junior nursing major


“We have been blessed with a lot of new equipment that gives us a competitive edge a lot of students wouldn’t have had before the construction,” she said. “Some might not have seen these instruments or have learned these techniques until graduate school or an internship, so we are really progressing and getting new advanced technology for such a small school.”

To Mangan, the refurbished Heelan Hall is “wonderful. It is absolutely fantastic.” She pointed out the new construction has provided a lot of new opportunities.

Ethan Neff, a junior nursing major from Treynor, Iowa, thought it was interesting to be going to school in a “construction zone” for a couple years. He said there was always something new going on, and it was “awesome to see the progress of the building and renovation.”

“I like the new look and feel of the classrooms, especially the nursing lab,” he said. “The old nursing lab was very crowded and outdated. With the new nursing lab, there is more space, and better technology.”

Read the entire Catholic Globe article »


NOTE: The $11,185,141 transformation of Heelan Hall, Briar Cliff’s main academic center, features the latest digitally equipped classrooms; state-of-the-art nursing, biology and chemistry laboratories; a multimedia lab situated in a sophisticated mass communications suite and a three-story 18,228-square-foot addition.

Tags: Alumni, Admissions, Local Media, BCU

BCU ON TWITTER