Cornell College announces new science center

North front side of Russell Science Center. (Rendering courtesy Cornell College.)

Cornell College announced the construction of a new science center at a campus celebration on Tuesday.

In addition to a new building the $35 million project will renovate the current West Science Center.

Students have been learning in the West building for more than 40 years and Cornell President, Jonathan Brand believes it’s time for change. “It doesn't really meet the way our faculty teaches and our students learn,” he says.

After about 2 years of fund raising the project is now moving forward faster than expected thanks to a large donation.

Cornell alumna Dr. Jean Russell ’65 pledged $20 million making it the largest single donation in the history of the College.

“Cornell has really evolved in such a positive way for liberal arts education,” says Russell, who also serves on the board of trustees. “It's a way to give back for much of what I have gained through my education here,” she adds.

Brand could hardly believe her generosity “I was numb, I couldn't believe that it was real or true,” he says. “We have dreamt about today for years, we knew we needed this project and we knew we needed it immediately, we just didn't know how long it would take.”

The aptly named Russell Science Center will be a four-story, 45,600 square foot space.

Groundwork has already started on the site just next door to West Science Center and they hope to have construction complete in January 2019.

When construction and renovations are complete the college will have nearly 100,000 square feet of STEM space on campus.

The four floors of the new building will be filled with biology and chemistry lab spaces and classrooms, faculty offices, dedicated research space, and study areas.

Math and computer science programs will join physics and engineering in West Science and kinesiology will have two floors of Law Hall.

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