Carroll University will build a state-of-the-art science center expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2016, university officials announced today.
The multi-story building will be about 50,000 square feet and will cost about $22 million to $24 million. One story will be below ground level; three stories will be above ground level.
The building will be on the northeast corner of College Avenue and Barstow Street. Maxon Hall, which now occupies that site and houses classrooms, faculty offices and the environmental science program, will be demolished to make way for the new building, which will extend closer to College Avenue to the south and to Carroll's Rankin Hall to the east.
"I'm honored to carry on the work of two of my predecessors, Dr. William G. Laatsch and Marna Tess-Mattner," said James G. DeJong, a 1973 Carroll graduate and current chair of the Carroll Board of Trustees. "The hard work, dedication and diligence of Bill, Marna and all past and present members of Carroll's board has laid a firm foundation for the largest single investment in the 168-year history of Carroll." Laatsch, a 1960 Carroll graduate, was chair of the university's Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2010; Tess-Mattner, a 1975 Carroll graduate, was chair from 2010-2013. Both have been key players in plans for the new building.
The new science building, which will blend modern technology with Carroll's historic architecture, will house laboratories for biology, chemistry and biochemistry, some faculty offices, and gathering spaces for students.
"Carroll has become a destination for many bright, talented, science-minded students. This building will certainly become a tipping factor as students choose where to spend their college careers," said Dr. Douglas N. Hastad, Carroll president. "Carroll is also geographically situated in an area that's home to sophisticated health care systems that benefit from well-educated Carroll students."
About two-thirds of Carroll students major in one of the sciences. Biology, nursing, physical therapy and exercise science are among the most popular academic disciplines chosen by Carroll students.
"We have known for quite some time that we need new laboratory facilities," Hastad added. "The project has been a priority for several years. The time has come to get it done."
Ron Lostetter, vice president of finance and administrative services at Carroll, will oversee the project, from hiring an architect through construction. "We are delighted and fortunate to have Ron manage this project from conception to completion," Hastad said. "Since his arrival at Carroll in 2006, he has supervised the renovation of the 55,000-square-foot Center for Graduate Studies, numerous existing buildings and interior spaces, and several phases of an extensive exterior master plan. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable to the successful completion of this complex building project."
Faculty members are excited about the prospect of teaching in the new space and for the opportunities it will provide to students.
"Best practices in science education have changed dramatically in the 20 years that I have been at Carroll," said Dr. Susan E. Lewis, professor of biology and marine biology. "The teaching spaces we envision in the new science building will reflect those changes and will help us build a much deeper and more meaningful understanding of science for science majors and non-majors alike."
Dr. Kevin McMahon, associate professor of chemistry, who joined the Carroll faculty in 2000, said the science center will affect the entire Carroll community. "The new building will give us the necessary infrastructure to continue to teach and carry out important research," he said. "An investment of this magnitude will allow the university to continue to attract talented students and faculty."
The building will have a dramatic effect on a campus that has seen a major transformation in the past seven years. "This is an exciting time in the long history of this institution," DeJong said. "We are making a significant investment in the university, in the neighborhood and in the community. This building is another example of Carroll's ongoing commitment to excellence.