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Ceremony celebrates groundbreaking of new science building

A model for the new science building, which is to be completed in May 2015.

Josh FalconeGeneral Assignment Reporter 

Last Friday, Sept. 20, Southern Connecticut State University held a groundbreaking ceremony for the academic and laboratory science building currently under construction on the campus.

The facility which will be a four-story building, encompassing 103,608-square-feet, will be adjacent to Jennings and Morrill Halls.

President Mary A. Papazian said that it will be a state-of-the-art structure that will provide enhanced opportunities for Southern students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM disciplines.

“We will have a superior facility that will truly help us foster the next generation of Connecticut scientists,” President Papazian said.

The building will expand on the science programs currently offered at the university as well as being able to educate additional students.

President Papazian told those in attendance that the university will be giving Southern students additional assets for their post-Southern careers.

“This truly is an exciting time for our campus, because we are gaining the physical resources to prepare our students for success in the knowledge based workforce,” President Papazian said.

Dean of Arts and Sciences Steven Breese told the crowd that the relentless pursuit and deep love for education is the reason schools build buildings on college campuses, saying the state-of-the-art glass structure will be a centerpiece on the Southern campus, and will inspire all the students of Southern.

Breese added the fact that the new building being for science is very important.

“As we progress ever more deeply into the 21 century, we, our very society, will become more and more dependent on those educated in the STEM discipline spirit, healthcare, technology, safety, and security,” Breese said. “To maintain and advance our national interest and our competitive edge. This is why we build science buildings.”

A model for the new science building, which is to be completed in May 2015.
A model for the new science building, which is to be completed in May 2015.

Breese said the building that they were breaking ground on was a working building and by that he meant it was the product of hard work by countless faculty, staff, administrators, architects, engineers, builders, and legislatures.

“I’m very proud to see this building, it will offer students and faculty a broader array of tools and the essential workspaces to support the important teaching, learning, and research,” he said. “And it will directly impact and support the departments of physics, environmental science, earth science, biology, and chemistry, the Center for Nanotechnology and the Werth Center for Marine and Coastal Studies. It will also benefit each and every one of us.”

Breese said the building will be a place for the Southern community to do both great and important work in the advances in science and technology.

“It is a critical addition and will strengthen our university,” he said.

The Werth Center for Marine and Coastal Studies is named in honor of the Werth family following a gift of $3 million to the university from the Werth Family Foundation which is based in nearby Woodbridge, Conn.

The Werth Family Foundation donated to the university to support science and education research, the key focus, President Papazian said, was the Center for Marine and Coastal Studies. The center is co-coordinated by Professor of Environmental Studies Dr. Vincent Breslin, Dr. Scott Graves, and Dr. James Tait.

Dr. Breslin addressed those in attendance and told them that he was happy to be at the ceremony as a representative of the faculty of Southern, to share the excitement concerning the opportunities and possibilities that the new science building will create.

“Faculty from across the science department past the last year and a half had the opportunity to work with Centerbrook Architects and Planners, to design what we believe is going to be a state-of-the-art facility for Southern,” Breslin said. “And expand our capabilities for research opportunities and educational opportunities for our faculty and students at Southern.”

Centerbrook Architects and Planners is the architectural firm, and FIT Construction Inc. is the contractor for the project, which is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2015.

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