The heavy-duty plastic veil was pulled back for a private tour of the new Science Building, on schedule to be completed by March 2012.
Director of Facilities Planning Jim Michaelis and Senior Director of Engineering and Space Development Frank Young led a small group of students through the building Monday, Oct. 24.
Fruition of a project four years in the making, the three-floor, 170,000 sq. foot science hub will house all of the sciences except the Chemistry and Physics Departments, which will remain in the Pope Science building.
The hallway connecting the Pope Science Building to the Liberal Arts Building will remain. The familiar multi-colored pipes spanning the hall above the heads of students are now surrounded by much more than the previously existing classrooms.
Some of the highlights of this new 41-lab, 23-classroom, 59-office science hub include two cadaver labs, genetics and biotechnology labs and a greenhouse on the roof with three separately-controlled grow rooms.
Six well-lit and spacious study areas, similar to the study areas on the upper floors of the library, sit on the west side of the building on each floor, giving students a view past the fountains on campus to Utah Lake through large windows. A cavernous central common area will be highlighted with science-based multimedia displays.
The wide-open feeling and well-lit features were big selling points, according to Junior David Millet, who was part of the tour group. As Vice President of Academics, Millet recognizes the new building as a feature of the campus that will help solidify and strengthen the UVU brand.
“Our teachers are awesome. I think we have one of the best teaching staffs in the country,” Millet said, “but the new building makes it feel more legitimate.”
The basement will house two computer labs, as well as Geology Department collections. The main floor contains an auditorium for guest speakers and presentations, with the capacity to seat 400 people.
The design of this state-of-the-art building complies with U.S. Green Building Council guidelines to qualify for the status of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building. This means the building was constructed in a way to minimize impact on the environment, being held to strict nationally accepted benchmarks for green design, construction and operation.
The New Science building will be ready for class in the summer 2012 semester. The next project, including the Student Life Building and adjacent parking structure, is currently in the design stages and will go out to bid as soon as the Science Building is finished.