Kent State Celebrates the Grand Opening of the New Integrated Sciences Building
Famed science fiction writer and biochemistry professor Isaac Asimov once said, “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the only one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but rather, ‘Hmm ... that’s funny.’”
Members of Kent State University’s scientific community gathered to celebrate the grand opening of its new, state-of-the-art Integrated Sciences Building on Sept. 15, and they are hoping to hear many more “Hmm … that’s funny” comments coming from their labs, classrooms and hallways for decades to come.
Kent State President Beverly Warren hosted the dedication of the Integrated Sciences Building on Friday, Sept. 15, from 2:30-5 p.m. The event was free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences hosted a reception and tours of the new building and renovated spaces in Cunningham, Smith and Williams halls, all part of a $95 million upgrade to the university’s Science Mall.
Construction of the $40 million Integrated Sciences Building, designed by Ayers Saint Gross and built by Turner Construction, is supported by the generosity of lead donors including the Timken Foundation of Canton, Dr. Sandra S. Fishel and The Lubrizol Foundation. Along with seven other donors to named spaces, they contributed a total of $1.7 million to this state-of-the-art facility. Construction began in October 2015 and was completed this August in time for fall 2017 classes. The university is anticipating a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver sustainable design certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for the building.
“Integrating diverse disciplines in one space serves as a catalyst for design thinking, innovation and novel solutions,” President Warren said. “This building is purposefully designed to spark epic thinking and collaboration among our students and faculty.”
The 66,000 gross square-foot, open design building houses classrooms, instructional labs, research lab space and faculty offices for the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biological Sciences and Physics. Located adjacent to the Student Green and Summit Street, the Integrated Sciences Building, which features a primarily glass façade, wraps around and connects to the existing Williams Hall in the Science Mall and has 13,500 square feet of unfinished space on the basement level for future research labs.
“Our talented faculty and student body benefit greatly from interdisciplinary engagement in the classroom and research laboratories,” said James Blank, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State. “Together, under one roof, our science community now has a common area to informally meet, share ideas and build collaborations. I have no doubt this new facility will have tremendous impact on the quality of research and education offered by Kent State University.”
The Integrated Sciences Building is the final project of Kent State’s Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future initiative, which involved the construction of new buildings, facility upgrades and establishment of dynamic and new spaces. The goal of this initiative was to create the most outstanding academic experience for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater community enriched by the university.