Springfield To Renovate And Expand Schoo Hall Into State-Of-The-Art Science CenterMay 19, 2006
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., May 19, 2006 -- The earth moved at Springfield College today as Springfield College’s President Richard B. Flynn and Chair of the Board of Trustees James E. Walsh turned the first shovel for the major renovation and expansion of Schoo Hall into a state-of-the-art science teaching facility.
The cutting-edge interior design of the new facility follows guidelines of the National Science Foundation’s Project Kaleidoscope, which showed that effective undergraduate programs foster hands-on investigative learning. The building is designed to facilitate interaction among students and faculty, laboratory experience, and student research. Faculty members also will conduct research, often involving students, in the building.
In announcing the renovation, Springfield College President Richard B. Flynn said, “Preparing students for the science careers of tomorrow demands that we constantly advance our learning environment to stimulate student and faculty exploration and discovery, and equip our facilities with the latest technology. This science center will help us remain on the cutting edge in educating tomorrow’s leaders in the sciences and related fields.”
The $5 million science center is scheduled for completion in early 2007. It will house programs in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer science. Plans include laboratories for advanced and introductory science courses, instrumentation rooms, research space for student and faculty projects, a hazardous chemicals waste area, a chemical and equipment stockroom, preparation areas, computer classrooms, faculty offices, and an atrium lounge.
According to Jean A. Wyld, Springfield College vice president for academic affairs, “This science center, with all of our science teaching and support functions in one space, will allow us to foster the interdisciplinary learning essential for tomorrow’s scientific careers. Modern science is increasingly collaborative with scientists in different disciplines working together as teams. With the range of programs that we offer, Springfield College is well situated to offer this collaborative preparation.”
During demolition and construction, the college has relocated classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices to other areas of the campus.
More than 85 percent of Springfield College’s 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students take science courses as a requirement of their academic major or minor areas of study. Such students are preparing for careers as medical professionals, physician assistants, physical and occupational therapists, athletic trainers, biologists, environmental scientists, science teachers, physical educators, and more.
Enrollment in Springfield College’s health and life sciences is growing. In 2005, the college received state approval to offer a doctoral program in physical therapy. It also established the School of Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Studies to structure and expand its longstanding undergraduate and graduate programs in the health sciences. Since 2002, the college also has formed agreements with several medical schools which guarantee acceptance of qualified Springfield College graduates. More than 95 percent of Springfield College students who apply to medical or dental school have been accepted by their schools and all of them have completed medical studies.
Springfield College opened Schoo Hall in 1963 as the Clarence and Grace Schoo Friendship Hall. The Schoos donated funds toward construction of the building, which matched gifts from the Kresge Foundation and Springfield College alumni, trustees, corporations, foundations and friends. The building has housed classrooms for many programs, offices, and science laboratories.
The Schoo Hall renovation is the first campus building project funded through the college’s current $40 million campaign, “Leadership for the 21st Century.” The college announced the campaign last year and has raised almost $23 million. In addition to renovating Schoo Hall, the college plans to construct a new campus union, field house, and wellness center. The campaign also will support additions and improvements to academic programs and a range of current and future needs.
of the Schoo Hall Ground Breaking Ceremony.