Connecticut College opens $25 million new Science Center

Connecticut College opened its $25.3 million Science Center at New London Hall yesterday. The state-of-the-art Center is now home to the biology, botany and computer science departments.

The project, largely funded through gifts to the College, included a complete renovation of New London Hall, the oldest building on campus; a 14,000-square-foot addition; and a complete renovation of the greenhouse.

“We have incredible science programs at Connecticut College, and now the facilities match the programs,” President Leo I. Higdon Jr. said.

With 28 percent more space for research and teaching, the Science Center is designed to foster collaboration, interdisciplinary work and inquiry-based learning.

“We’ve reconfigured the entire building, built new research and teaching spaces, and made it easier for faculty to work with each other and with students,” Botany Professor T. Page Owen said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday.

Owen added that while the building is designed for the sciences, it will be enjoyed by students and faculty across the College. In just the first two days of classes, he said, 18 different departments and programs will host classes in the building, and several of the floors have social spaces conducive to meetings and events.

“It’s very much a College building,” he said.

The College’s leadership worked with Farmington-based KBE Building Corporation and the Boston-based architectural firm Payette to complete the project in 26 months, including just 14 months of construction time. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, President Higdon joked it takes some people longer to renovate a single kitchen or basement.

“It is an extraordinary accomplishment that required the dedication and professionalism of a great project team,” Vice President for Administration Ulysses Hammond said.

The College hopes to achieve LEED Silver certification for the building, which was constructed according the College’s Green Building Policy and includes a 45-well geothermal heating and cooling system.

At the ribbon-cutting, computer science major Katie Ketcham ’13 and botany major Mike LeDuc ’14 said they are excited to begin using the building and recognize the impact it will have on the future of the sciences at the College.

“The renovation and addition to New London Hall demonstrates the institution’s strong commitment to the sciences,” LeDuc said. “Our beautiful building will be a fixture on campus for years to come and countless students will benefit from our state-of-the-art facilities.”

About Connecticut College

Situated on the coast of southern New England, Connecticut College is a highly selective private liberal arts college with 1900 students from all across the country and throughout the world. On the college’s 750-acre arboretum campus overlooking Long Island Sound, students and faculty create a vibrant social, cultural and intellectual community enriched by diverse perspectives. The college, founded in 1911, is known for its unique combination of interdisciplinary studies, international programs, funded internships, student-faculty research and service learning. For more information, visit www.connecticutcollege.edu.