Construction of a new three-story science building begins Monday, Sept. 17, at the north end of Colby Green. The building will house the computer science, psychology, and mathematics and statistics departments.
Adjacent to the Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center, the science building will complete the four buildings envisioned when Colby Green was built. The College will seek LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the 36,400-square-foot facility, which is scheduled to open in 2014.
“We’re very excited,” said Professor Martha Arterberry, chair of the Psychology Department. “We’ll move into state-of-the-art lab space, and it will bring the whole department together.” Currently one member of the psychology faculty has an office and lab in Arey Life Sciences Building.
One advantage for students will be the availability of designated space for psychology research projects. Students will be assigned lab space for a semester or a year, which will improve the quality of the data they produce, Arterberry said.
Professor Bruce Maxwell, chair of the Computer Science Department, said it feels a long way off still: “We don’t move in for two years.” He eagerly awaits the bigger and better computer classroom, which will not only accommodate more students but will provide space for them to have circuit boards or robots or other projects on their desks alongside the computers. He also noted it will be nice to get the computer science and psychology departments out of Roberts Building and back to the academic core of campus.
A benefit of moving those two departments is that space in Roberts will be freed up for use as student housing.
The Mathematics and Statistics Department will move from the Mudd Building into a facility that includes quiet rooms and group workspaces for faculty-student interaction. Larger classroom spaces will enhance programs such as Calculus After Hours, a highly successful group study and tutoring program.
Fall construction activities will include site clearing and preparation, blasting and ledge removal, pouring concrete foundations, and drilling geothermal wells that will be used to heat and cool the building.