New science building provides further study opportunities

Staff Writer

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The beginning of the school year for science majors did not just bring new professors or classes, but also the addition of a brand new building: The John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center- South.

The south building started construction in the spring  of 2012 and is now open for students and faculty.

Dr. Patricia J. Baynham, the interim dean for the School of Natural Sciences, is extremely pleased with the building and believes it opens up new opportunities for science majors.

“Seven years ago, we opened the north building and that gave biology and chemistry [majors] amazing facilities for research. The south building gives computer science, math and bioinformatics [majors] resources they didn’t have before,” Baynham said.

The south building is also open to students who are non-science majors as well. Science in Perspective classes, a requirement for non-science majors, along with some humanities courses are taught in the south building.

Baynham wants students of all majors to have a place in the science building. “We wanted to get everyone in here. It’s not, this is our building-get out. It’s everybody’s building, and I hope that the interaction and the mixing of the science and non-science majors could lead to some kind of collaboration.”

Science students also seem pleased with the new building. Senior biology major Louie Morsy is impressed with the design, “I like how much space there is. It’s very comfortable. The labs are cool too. The physics lab is really nice,” he said.

The new science building also brings innovative technology that will prepare students for the workplace. According to Baynham, the new Advanced Computing Laboratory is consistent with what students will see at a future job or internship.

“It’s much more like what the facilities they would see when they step into the business world. When they get an internship, it’s not a shock that there’s a lot of technology at their internship,” Baynham said.

Baynham is hopeful that the new building will attract more science majors. She believes that the new facilities will impress prospective students when they come on campus visits.

“They’ll think I went to this other school that didn’t have facilities this nice. I feel like I can accomplish more here,” Baynham said.

While the science department is content with the south building, that is not the consensus throughout campus.  Senior education major Brianna Myers feels that the new science building shows favoritism toward science majors.

“I don’t think it’s fair for the science majors to have two buildings when some of the majors don’t even have one building,” said Myers.

According to the Facilities Office, future building projects include renovating the alumni gym and the chapel.