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Lehman College dedicates Science Hall

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Lehman College has dedicated a new science building that brings with it the latest in Green technology.

Science Hall, which had been about six years in the making and under construction since early 2009, was officially dedicated on the lush, bucolic campus with speeches by dignitaries and a ribbon cutting on Friday, October 12.

The new L-shaped building will house some of Lehman College’s science programs in a state-of-the-art facility that includes ample space for faculty members to do research, for classroom learning, and spaces for collaborative learning can integrate both teaching and research.

The $70 million, 69,000 square-foot, four-story building is the first of three new buildings designed to created a campus-within-a-campus dedicated to the sciences at Lehman College. It will be home to the biological science and chemistry departments, and has already achieved LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Council Building for sustainable features including a system to collect, filter, and reuse rainwater. The building is expected to serve as a gateway to undergraduate students into the sciences.

On each floor where the teaching and research wings of the L-shape building meet is an area set aside for the integration of teaching and research, said Dr. Liesl Jones, chairwoman of Lehman’s Biological Sciences department.

In these areas are benches, white boards, monitors, study areas, she said, with faculty offices and research are in one side of the L-shaped building and classrooms on the other side. “It is really quite unique in that sense of a real meshing of the research and teaching,” said Jones.

Having students who are considering a major in biology walk into a gleaming new building that provides new facilities for experiments is a plus, said Jones.

“It is really going to change the way we teach the kids especially in that gateway course - that first cause that either which makes them want to stay in the biology major or puts them on the fence,” said Jones.

“Science Hall, and the potential that it holds, represents the best of what public higher education can offer to our society,” said Lehman College president Ricardo Fernandez. “Inside the classrooms and laboratories, trans formative experiences will occur - learning that will alter the direction of individual lives and research that will lead to advances in fighting disease, malnutrition, climate change, and other conditions.”

Among the dignitaries in attendance were CUNY chancellor Matthew Goldstein and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a Lehman alum.

“Within the opening of this extraordinary science facility, Lehman College faculty and students will be uniquely positioned to contribute their substantial talents, dedication and rigor to both the dissemination and creation of knowledge,” said Goldstein.

Diaz congratulated Lehman College on the new facility, and said that it “will serve as a great example of how we can both help our economy grow and help our students prepare for careers of the future.”

The new building is expected to open for classes in January 2013.

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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