LaGrange College unveiled plans for a new modern laboratory science facility to be constructed on the corner of Vernon Street and Park Avenue, near the current Cason J. Callaway Science Building.
The $21 million project calls for the new 43-thousandfoot building as well as extensive renovations to the older science building.
The new facility will have nine new lab spaces as well as lecture rooms for biology, ecology, anatomy/physiology, chemistry, and immunology.
College President Dan McAlexander, along with the help of LaGrange College students unveiled an artist’s rendering of the beautiful new building soon to grace the campus.
“With this building, students pursuing careers in research, medicine, sustainability or allied health fields like physical therapy will have access to innovative technologies in their disciplines,” said President Dan McAlexander.
Science Department Chari Dr. Nickie Cauthen was also on hand and spoke of the need for more students trained in science, technology, engineering, and math.
“To be competitive in the global economy, we need to be producing more graduates in STEM fields, which are both financially and personally rewarding,” she said. “These new laboratories will make our students even better prepared to launch many science careers.” Recently the college’s science alumni have moved on to graduate programs in medicine, toxicology, and pharmacy, and into careers as spinal cord trauma nurses, veterinarians, and forensic biologists.
The new facility will also contain research space and offices for biology and chemistry faculty.
McAlexander advised the renovations for the Callaway Science Building will not only provide additional lab and classroom spaces, but also allow for many professors to move their offices out of the basement and into upper floors with windows.
Modern labs for physics and computational mathematics will also be added in the renovations.
“Working with their chemistry, biology, and physics colleagues, our computational mathematics faculty and students will be able to pursue multiple undergraduate research projects in experimenting with and mathematically modeling a wide array of interdisciplinary inquiry,” said McAlexander.
The project will be constructed by Batson-Cook of West Point, who served as construction manager for many recent projects around LaGrange, including the new Sweetland Amphitheater. Earl Swensson Associates, of Nashville, served as architects for the project.
At its highpoint, the project is expected to bring at least 100 jobs to LaGrange, albeit temporary ones.
This project is indicative of the college’s plan to place more emphasis on science, technology, and math as they move forward in the modern world.
The project is tentatively scheduled to be completed by January 2017.
Tommy Murphy Staff Writer