Friday, January 25, 2008

Science center to be upgraded

By Tamika Robinson
Cardinal Staff

Located east of Saint Mary’s Hall is the Adducci Science Center, housing many classrooms, offices, and labs. The original building, Hoffman Hall, was built in 1956, and later additions were made (Brother Charles Hall) in 1987. Students can be seen walking to and from this building all day, but soon they may have a new building to walk to.

Dr. Roger Kugel, dean of humanities and sciences, is the chairman for the Natural Science Facility Task Force. The committee began meeting last semester and is responsible for the recent plans to build a new science facility. At this point in time, the committee hopes the building project is underway by 2012, the 100th anniversary of Saint Mary’s University, said Kugel.

“The labs, we believe, are currently outdated, so last year we hired an architectural firm to evaluate the current science building,” said Kugel. “The architectural firm performed a study and concluded that the current building was structurally sound, but for laboratories, it’s inadequate,” said Kugel.

The new science building will include new features such as modern laboratories, while the old building will be completely renovated into dry labs, office space, and classrooms.

“Students will benefit from new science facilities because we will be able to create spaces that provide a more ‘learner-friendly’ environment for learning science in the 21st century,” said Kugel. “Students in both science and non-science majors will be able to learn science more effectively and become more aware of the multitude of ways that science and technology affect their lives.”

Nodetty Joassaint, a senior biology major, felt that a new science building “would probably encourage more students to major in science.”

“Students would be more interested in the sciences during campus tours, and it would encourage more research for thesis projects,” said Nora Sadek, a senior cytogenetic technology major.

“The new facility will allow for growth of Saint Mary’s by providing new space and by enhancing our ability to attract and retain quality faculty and students,” said Kugel. “All in all the new science facility will enhance all programs at Saint Mary’s, not just those in the sciences. It’s an exciting project and I feel privileged to be part of the planning process.”

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