Berea College holds groundbreaking for new science/health building
BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ) – Berea College officials broke ground Thursday afternoon for a new $72 million building to house the natural sciences and nursing departments. The structure, to be named the Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building, will house Division I, which includes the biology, chemistry, mathematics, nursing and physics departments. Berea’s science departments currently are housed in the Charles Martin Hall Science Building, which was built in 1927 and updated in 1984. It will be transformed for other uses.
President Lyle Roelofs said, “This new the 125,000 square foot building will provide an interdisciplinary learning environment, space for enhanced collaboration among disciplines, such as biology and chemistry and Berea’s well-known nursing program, the oldest college-affiliated nursing program west of the Allegheny Mountains.”
The new structure’s exterior design blends with Berea’s historic campus. The design of the interior demonstrates Berea’s academic commitment to interdisciplinary principals. It will allow students to learn their craft in settings that resemble what they will encounter in professional research environments, such as flexible multiple use rooms; technology-rich “classatories”—rooms mixing traditional classroom elements and laboratory components; numerous project labs where students can work together as interdisciplinary teams; seminar and case study classrooms that facilitate problem-based learning; and, research labs where teams of faculty, students, and researchers can explore together.
Distinctive features in Berea’s new science building include:
- 3D Visualization Lab
- Optics Lab
- Central lab core space spanning four floors that puts science on display
- Lab support spaces
- STEM Outreach Support Facilities
- Multi-use atrium space
- High-fidelity nursing simulation center
- Digital Learning Theatre/Planetarium
- Conference rooms
- Astronomy Observation Deck
- Multi-Use Discovery/Outreach Learning Center
- Cafe Food Service
- Student study spaces adjacent to faculty offices
At the ground breaking ceremony, President Roelofs, who is a physicist, said, “I am particularly thrilled to be part of creating a great new building dedicated to teaching the disciplines of the health and natural sciences. As Berea’s president, I am also thrilled that we have a strong foundation of excellence in the sciences, a foundation upon which we are building for Berea’s current and future generations of student scholars in science, health and nursing.”
The College is conducting a $10 million campaign toward the $72 million price tag for constructing this state-of-the-art new building.