Samford University will open the 21st century with "a burst of new energy and emphasis upon the sciences," and a $23 million Science Building–the largest and most expensive project undertaken by the school–is the epicenter.
"The beneficial aftershocks should reverberate for some time," said Samford President Thomas E. Corts. "Along with the new building, new equipment and instrumentation should afford the student an unsurpassed undergraduate experience."
Samford’s Biology, Chemistry and Physics departments will move to the new three and a half-story structure on the eastern edge of the campus quadrangle in the fall of 2001. Site preparation has been completed and construction is underway.
The 90,000-square foot comprehensive science facility will contain classrooms, research labs, lab support space, administrative offices and other related areas necessary to support 35 total labs.
Dr. Corts noted that Samford had produced outstanding graduates in pre-medicine, pre-dentistry and the sciences over the years.
"Strong as these programs have been, this new structure will provide exceptional facilities, allowing us to channel new energy and emphasis into biology, chemistry and physics," he said. "Student learning is the dominant focus of the new building and the very latest in electronic and wet lab learning opportunities will be standard. Facilities will support both faculty and undergraduate research."
The building will include a 60-seat planetarium and conservatory.
"The new planetarium will be more advanced than any in this area," noted Corts, "and the conservatory should be an exceptional, hands-on learning environment."
The new building will straddle the pedestrian bridge to Samford’s Beeson Woods housing complex, with access incorporated into the design of the building’s first floor.
The building was designed by Davis Architects, Inc., which has designed most other campus buildings during a 50-year relationship with Samford. Brasfield & Gorrie is general contractor.
Samford’s Biology Department has been housed in Russell Hall since the school moved to its Shades Valley campus from East Lake in 1957. The Physics Department was originally housed in Russell and the Chemistry Department in Ingalls Hall, the pharmacy building. Chemistry and Physics moved to Brooks Hall when it opened in 1966.
Once the science departments move from Russell and Brooks halls, the older buildings will be refurbished for use by other departments.