Students Already Benefitting From Proposed Rosica Hall

Teacher Jim Fugate with Andrew Crawford, Brandon McCarty and Justin Katich. Photo by Mark Benjamin, NTID.
Story Highlights: 
  • This is the first 3-D model of Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall, expected to be completed in 2013.
  • Three RIT/NTID students majoring in Computer Aided Drafting Technology spent 10 weeks in independent study constructing the model.
  • RIT/NTID alumnus Phil Rubin, an architect in California, consulted with local architects to make sure the building is deaf-friendly.
  • The new building, made possible with a $1.75 million donation from the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, is intended for research and innovation for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and their peers.


Three Computer Aided Drafting Technology majors at RIT/NTID have turned blueprints for Sebastian and Lenore Rosica Hall into a 3-D model, offering a more tangible vision of the proposed two-story, 22,000-sq. ft. building while at the same time, developing their engineering skills.

The building, made possible with a $1.75 million donation from the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, is intended for research and innovation for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and their hearing peers. Expected completion is 2013.

After plans for the building were announced last year, Engineering Studies Assistant Professor James Fugate suggested a 3-D model of the building be constructed by students.

Brandon McCarty, of Lake Geneva, Wis., intends to become an architect. He created an animated tour of the proposed building and helped make the windows on the model, which had to be constructed and angled at just the right position so they would look natural. He said he learned a lot from this project and the experience will help him in his future career.

Justin Katich, of New Castle, Pa., grew up making models, “but this is the largest so far,” he said. The greatest challenge came two weeks before their deadline, when the design for the building was changed. The roof, walls and windows of the model all had to be rebuilt.

Andrew Crawford, of Science Hill, Ky., has a goal to become a civil engineer. He built the model’s Dining Commons and the connecting structure that will join the Dining Commons to Rosica Hall. During the recent unveiling of their model, he explained that the actual Rosica Hall will be built using a sustainable construction process, including using energy efficient heating and lighting and recycled, local materials whenever possible.

Phil Rubin, an RIT/NTID alumnus and architect in Palm Springs, Calif., consulted with Rebecca Barone, of HBT Architects of suburban Rochester, in designing the building so that it will be deaf-friendly.

Fugate said the students spent 10 weeks of independent study building the model. “These three students worked really hard. I’m proud of what they’ve done.”

NTID President Gerry Buckley said Rosica Hall is intended to be not only a building, but a learning experience for RIT/NTID students. “These students are the first, and I’m very impressed with their work.”

The building is named to honor the late Sebastian and Lenore Rosica. The couple worked in the Buffalo area – Sebastian as an audiologist and Lenore as a speech therapist. Lenore Rosica was the sister of William McGowan, who was CEO of MCI Communications Corp.

“My mom and dad would be thrilled with this,” said Mark Rosica, one of the couple’s six children and chair of NTID’s Counseling & Academic Advising Services. “The building will be a wonderful addition to our campus, something we’ll all feel connected to in the future.”

Additional fundraising is being held to pay costs associated with constructing the $8 million building. For more information, visit

More Images: 

NTID Website Comment Policies

We welcome your comments on this story. Please be respectful of others and comply with the NTID Website Comment Policies. NTID reserves the right to remove any comment that violates these policies. Please note that all comments reflect the opinions of the commenter(s), not of RIT or NTID. 

Follow NTID News

Subscribe to NTID News

For more information, contact:
Susan Murad
(585) 451-0718