GROVE CITY, Pa. – Grove City College on Thursday, Sept. 19, officially dedicated STEM Hall, the College’s new science, technology, engineering and mathematics building.
The ceremony took place in the STEM Hall Courtyard, followed by a reception and open house in the 68,300-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, which is designed to be conducive to hands-on research and interdisciplinary study.
After a welcome from College President Dr. Richard G. Jewell ’67 and remarks by David R. Rathburn ’79, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, former College President Dr. John H. Moore discussed the importance of STEM education in today’s world.
STEM Hall, which has been in use by students and faculty since the semester started in August, offers expansive laboratory and study spaces that foster opportunities for collaborative interaction, similar to what students will find in the workplace.
The $39.5 million science showplace will support a dedicated faculty with a passion for teaching and student/faculty research, as well as keep pace with increasingly sophisticated technology and teaching methods necessary for students to excel and lead in their chosen career paths.
“We are grateful to the many alumni, foundations and friends of the College who have given generously of their treasure to offer Grove City College students a magnificent learning opportunity for years to come. This is all about our faculty, students and the future excellence of our institution,” Jewell said.
STEM Hall houses 12 labs for chemistry, biology and computer science, a vivarium for animals used in research, 18 faculty offices and abundant space for students to study, meet and work together with faculty.
The physically striking building is anchored by four glass-walled laboratories that put “science in sight.” The concept is intended to bring the work done by scientists in the laboratory out from behind closed doors and encourage students to explore the STEM disciplines. Another key feature of the building is floor-to-ceiling SageGlass windows that tint automatically as the sun shines on the east-facing commons area.
“STEM Hall provides state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research, and in particular supports our efforts in innovative pedagogies including active learning in the classrooms and laboratories and collaborative student-faculty research activities,” Dr. Stacy G. Birmingham, dean of the Albert A. Hopeman Jr. School of Science, Engineering and Mathematics, said.
Thirty-five percent of the 2,500 students enrolled at the College are enrolled in the Hopeman School of Science, Engineering and Mathematics. Students majoring in biology, chemistry and computer science will further their education inside STEM Hall. Students in other STEM disciplines may also attend lectures and labs at the hall.
Ballinger of Philadelphia served as the building’s architect, and Pittsburgh-based PJ Dick was the general contractor for the project.
The addition of STEM Hall completes phase one of the project. Phase two will take place in the future as part of the next capital campaign. It will involve demolishing the Rockwell Hall of Science and replacing it with a similar building that will connect to the current STEM Hall. The new building will retain Rockwell’s iconic tower. This will allow all science, technology, engineering and mathematic departments to be located in one functional and dramatic venue.
The Grove City Matters campaign is the largest campaign in the College’s history. Guided by the priorities outlined in the College’s Strategic Plan, six campaign objectives, including STEM Hall, were identified as vitally important to the future of Grove City College. As of August 1, $69.1 million of the $90 million campaign goal has been raised. The campaign formally concludes in June 2015.