HUNTINGTON, IN--Huntington College broke ground for a new science building today. The new 91,000-square-foot, $16.5 million facility will provide a new home to the Division of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. President G. Blair Dowden, chemistry professor Bill Bordeaux, and freshman science major Kelli Whiteman used gold-tipped jackhammers to drill through an asphalt parking lot now covering the construction site.
The ceremony was attended by more than 300 spectators. Construction will begin in earnest by early summer. The new science building will open for classes for the fall semester of 2002.
Artist's rendering of new 91,000-square-foot, $16.5M science facility.
Click image for closer view. Click here for high-resolution TIFF file (3.3 MB).
"This new facility is the most significant building project ever undertaken by Huntington College," said President Dowden. "The new learning facility will be the largest and most costly building on campus—a fact that makes an important statement about Huntington College’s commitment to educating the next generation of doctors, researchers, science teachers, computer scientists, chemists, zoologists, botanists, mathematicians, and physicists."
The science building is the highest-profile project in a $37 million capital campaign at the Christian liberal arts college. According to Ned Kiser, vice president for advancement, The Campaign for Huntington College has four primary goals:
the new science building and its operating endowment ($18.5 million),
increased endowment ($6.4 million),
key campus improvements, including the renovation of the current science building into general classroom space ($3.1 million), and
unrestricted annual giving ($9 million over the course of the campaign).
President Dowden and HC's Advancement staff have been contacting foundations and major donors regarding these campaign goals for more than a year. Initial funding was received from Lilly Endowment Inc., which granted Huntington College $8.55 million in November 1998, much of which was designated toward campaign projects. In January 2000, a $500,000 gift was received from Marj and Homer Hiner of Huntington, Indiana. Many additional gifts have also been received, some anonymously.
Dowden will announce total progress toward the $37 million goal when Huntington College formally launches the final phase of the capital campaign on April 28. This two-year public phase will seek the participation of all HC alumni and friends.
According to Dr. Gerald Smith, professor of physics and chemistry, the new building is being designed to provide the flexible classroom and laboratory space essential to teaching the sciences in a student-centered, highly personal environment. "Subject-specific laboratory space for both faculty and students will foster creativity and inquiry," said Smith. "Advanced instrumentation and integrated computer technology will expand the scope of knowledge and investigation, and ensure that Huntington's students are prepared for the equipment and subject matter they'll encounter in graduate school and in industry."
Dowden expects Huntington College's new science building to offer many additional benefits to the local community. "A strengthened science program at Huntington College will ensure that local businesses have access to top-notch graduates, who are trained in the most current technologies," he said. "The expanded capacity of the facility will foster stronger enrollment in our science and mathematics programs, and ensure that local families with college-age children will not have to choose between a top-notch science education and the distinctive, values-oriented environment Huntington College provides."
Founded in 1897, Huntington College offers programs in nearly 50 academic concentrations, including biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and pre-med. The Christian liberal arts college is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in Huntington, Indiana.