New building, new opportunity

By Lauren Gatto Steph Moritz
March 27, 2003

Alaina Robinson

A new addition to the Cabrini campus is underway, and the college is looking to the new Science Education and Technology building to advance science majors. The new building, planned to be situated between Bruckmann Chapel and Grace Hall, is said to be completed by November 2004.

Science department gets an upgrade

Cabrini has decided to build a new science building for a number of reasons. “Our facilities are out of date and insufficient to serve our needs,” said Dr. Sherry Fuller-Espie, chair of the science department. “They oppose a real scheduling nightmare trying to fill in all of the sections and it makes it difficult for the students to get into the labs because they are in constant use.” Besides the limited space for students, the new instrumentation that Cabrini has been acquiring needs a home as well.

Moving to a new building, the science department will leave behind two labs, a prep room, a chemical room, a storage closet and an office suite in Founder’s Hall. There are many ideas as to how the space can be utilized, but no final decision has been made. “We will not be vacating these labs and offices until the summer of 2005, so the administration has a bit of time to work out what they are going to do with it,” said Fuller-Espie. Besides the space in Founder’s there is also the Bruckman Chemistry lab that the administration has to consider.

Cabrini determined the location for the new science building based on what it could offer the campus. “I think the primary reason for the location was because [Cabrini] wanted to frame the campus and create a commons area,” Fuller-Espie said. By placing the building between the Chapel and Grace Hall, students will be able to utilize the lawn as the campus common area. Moreover, it will attract more pedestrianization and will make a dramatic difference in terms of how students use the campus Fuller-Espie said. The parking situation will also become less of a headache. Right now, most students prefer to park by the dorms or near Founder’s, but by creating the new science building in this location the focus will be toward the Dixon Center parking lot and it will b easier to get to.

The steps being taken to prepare the land for the new building are going as planned. Right now Cabrini is in the tree and brush clearing process and will be moving to the excavating process in the next few weeks. The contractors need to create a space for the basement, which will take up two-thirds of the building underground. Once that is finished the foundation can be laid down. This project is to be completed and commissioned no later then November 2004. At this time the ribbon will be cut for the opening ceremony and guests will be allowed in. Cabrini hopes to get the classrooms set up for spring 2005.

“The new Science Education and Technology building will be a multifunctional and interdisciplinary building that will house all science departments and hopefully create the commons area that Cabrini is looking for,” Fuller-Espie said.

New building impacts science majors

Three majors most students enroll in are biology pre medicine, biotechnology, and chemistry. The new building will impact the program in two major ways. First, it will put Cabrini on the map.

“Cabrini is amongst the most competitive of small colleges in this area that can provide a real quality science education. This shows students that we mean business when we talk science,” Fuller-Espie said.

Cabrini is now going to be able to have all the additional lab space to provide to science majors. This additional laboratory space will be an improvement to the existing facilities. It will also be able to offer students state of the art programs, combining the theoretical with the practical aspects of the discipline.

Physics lectures are taught at Cabrini, but the students have to go to Valley Forge Military Academy for their lab requirement.

Students spend six hours of laboratory instructional time a week off campus because there is no space for physics labs. The new building will now provide students the physics labs that are needed to fulfill the course here at Cabrini.

The effect of putting Cabrini on the map will lead to an increase in enrollment in the programs. “In the first five years I definitely would venture to say that we will probably double the numbers in our program.” Fuller-Espie said.

The second way in which the new science building will advance the science major at Cabrini is through research. Cabrini does not presently have any research facilities. Due to the limited facilities and laboratory space the new building will have two laboratories on the biology floor and two laboratories on the chemistry floor devoted to undergraduate and faculty research. Students will now be able to do their research here on campus where in previous year they would have to go elsewhere and usually do it as part of an internship over the summer.

“This is really going to make a dramatic difference in the quality of our program here at Cabrini.” Dr. Fuller-Espie said.

Heather Buonacuore, a senior biology major, said, “The science and technology building will provide students with hands-on experience with state of the art technology. This will put students at an advantage in the field after they leave Cabrini.”

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Lauren Gatto Steph Moritz

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