Kicking off a weekend of celebration surrounding Franklin College’s 154th commencement, members of the Franklin College community gathered on Thursday, May 16, to dedicate the new Franklin College Science Center.
“Today’s ceremony highlights a bold example of our steadfast commitment to the college’s mission of fostering independent thinking, innovation, leadership and action for ever-changing professions and a globally connected world,” said Thomas J. Minar, Ph.D., Franklin College president. “With the Science Center, we continue excellence, and we advance in providing the highest quality teaching and learning environment for faculty and students.”
Franklin College announced on Monday, May 13, that it had met the $10 million goal for its Campaign for the Sciences that helped fund the project.
The two-story, 51,000-square-foot structure was designed by BSA LifeStructures, which included the design of Lacy Labs, a contemporary lab building, and the restoration of the college’s historic Barnes Hall. BSA recently earned the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in the Indiana Chapter in the category of a Higher Education Remodel for their work on the facility. The Hagerman Group was the construction manager for the project.
The dedication of the building comes two years almost to the day after Franklin College broke ground on the project. Phase one was the construction of the 21,000-square-foot addition to the existing science building, and phase two was the renovation of Barnes Hall, built in 1927 and renovated in 1987. The newly constructed portion of the facility opened for use in May 2018, and the entire facility was opened for use in January 2019.
The science center has 12 teaching labs and three student research labs, nearly doubling the lab space previously available. Features include flexible classroom and lab spaces, dedicated space for student research projects, collaborative learning spaces, improved technology and numerous sustainability features. The building also has some unique natural features, including four large table tops harvested from a walnut tree that sat in the building expansion footprint, a rain garden and a multi-story wood and moss wall feature. The facility also has an outdoor classroom and lighted patio.
“This new facility allows us as faculty to interact more with students, to blur the lines between lecture and lab, and to fulfill one important mission of The Pursuit, to incorporate skills of undergraduate research into every course in our curriculum, said Sarah Mordan-McCombs, associate professor of biology and division head for natural sciences. “This project has breathed new life into our program, and into the college.”
Franklin College has significantly focused efforts in recent years on innovating its approach to and facilities for science education, including reinventing the science division’s curriculum in 2011, aligning it more closely with the growing demands of the industry; launching two master’s degree programs – a master’s in athletic training and a master’s in physician assistant studies; and opening the Graduate Health Science Center in 2018, located just off US 31 North in Franklin, housing classrooms and faculty offices for both master’s programs.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185.
POSTED May 16, 2019