Students required to take chemistry as a part of their degree will have the opportunity to learn in upgraded laboratories.
University officials unveiled the $2.2 million renovation plan to current chemistry laboratories in the Dawson-Loeffler Science and Mathematics building at an Oct. 22 trustee meeting.
These renovations will include aesthetic upgrades, a joined classroom and lab space, and more efficient equipment.
Chemistry majors do not solely use the chemistry labs. Students in majors such as cell and molecular biology, nursing, and the new physician assistant program also will use the updated labs.
Students in the science programs think the lab upgrades are necessary. Chemistry classes have had issues where the gas or a sink wouldn’t work, said Ali Bryant, biomedical sciences junior.
“They’re really needed because the equipment we have is really outdated,” Bryant said. “It’ll be nice to have functional equipment and space to fit more students.”
Administrators hope the upgraded labs will further the success of the science programs and increase recruitment of students pursuing degrees in the science.
“We expect it will help us to continue to recruit outstanding students in the sciences,” said Marty O’Gwynn, vice president for university advancement and external relations. “They’re going to be as contemporary as any chemistry labs which prospective students might see when comparing various schools.”
Funding for the improvements will come primarily from donations. More than $1.2 million has been raised for this project from alumni and trustee donors.
The office of advancement is currently working with other alumni and several foundations to secure the additional $1 million needed, O’Gwynn said.
Dawson-Loeffler was original built in 1954 to house the school of engineering and technology, but was later converted to its current purpose in 1963.
The building was last renovated in 1988.
Renovations are expected to be complete by Fall 2015.