At the corner of Plattekill Avenue and South Manheim Boulevard, the construction of the Science Hall on campus is now complete as of spring 2017. The budget of this large scale project is estimated to be $48 million according to the Science Hall webpage and is now the new home to many academic programs such as geology, computer science, mathematics, physics, astronomy and geography.
Science Hall, unlike some of the other, older academic buildings on campus is noted to have many environmental and sustainable qualities, making it qualifiable for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S Green Building Council.
John M. Shupe, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management, stated that some environmental qualities include features such as LED lighting, which contains no toxic elements such as Mercury and is 80 percent more efficient than fluorescent and incandescent lights; energy efficient air conditioners and heating and isolation barriers which require less natural resources therefore reducing the amount of carbon footprint. There are also glass panels for less reliance on artificial light which saves money and energy.
Science Hall also prides itself in the fact that it incorporates campus values. SUNY New Paltz campus values include being open to people of different abilities, having a team of not only project managers but also faculty and students whose main purpose is to constantly try to perform projects in a sustainable fashion.
“The building is ADA accessible, like Wooster Hall the Science Hall doors are wheelchair accessible,” said Shupe.
The building was also designed with help from faculty and students, in order to fully understand the needs and desires of the students and professors, ensuring an optimal interaction between the two in classes.
Geology professor Laurel Mutti expressed content over her new home.
“I’m really excited I have my own office now and a lot of space to move freely around the classroom in order to talk to students,” she said.
Back at South Classroom Building, Mutti had to share an office and fit her students into a small classroom. Now, she and many other professors get to enjoy having significantly larger classrooms, prep rooms to store materials for class, better technology and research space.
“It’s a lot easier to help students in lab now because of the increase of space,” Mutti said, since each of the labs are two times larger than what professors initially had.
With construction commencing in April of 2014, the completion of this project lasted two years with some obstacles in the process including the harsh, cold weather and a setback with the contractor, Niram Construction CO., which stopped construction for about six weeks. There is still work left in regards to landscaping, which could potentially become a rock garden in order to let students explore their field outside the classroom.
Nonetheless, the building is now open to hundreds of students eager to use the state of the art laboratories and brand new open classrooms fit for their academic needs.