Transforming Our Campus
Scranton Builds on its Rich Legacy of Science Education
Touted, during its construction, as one of the most dynamic, innovative science buildings in the country, The University of Scranton’s Loyola Science Center has lived up to its lofty expectations following the opening of its first phase this fall.
The largest capital project in the University’s history, the 150,000-square-foot facility is a fitting home to Scranton’s rich legacy of science education, and serves as a center of collaborative learning for all members of the campus and community.
For more than a decade, University faculty and staff have been crucial in the development, design and construction of the Loyola Science Center. As far back as 2001, faculty authored a concept paper outlining the project’s aspirations.
Today, the fruition of that work stands magnificently on the corner of Monroe Avenue and Ridge Row, with 22 class and seminar rooms, 34 laboratories and a multistory atrium. The building houses the University’s research and instruction in the natural sciences.
The faculty desired a space to support teaching and research – both central to a University of Scranton science experience – but also a place that would serve as a destination point, an environment that would invite students to gather, discuss and learn. The Loyola Science Center wholly accomplishes these objectives.
At an open house on Aug. 30, University President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., revealed that the new facility would be named in honor of Saint Ignatius Loyola.
“It is fitting that we retain the tradition of connecting our excellent science programs with the founder of the Society of Jesus,” said Father Quinn. “It will be the academic heart of our campus, and there is no better way to celebrate the richness of this marvelous facility than to ensure that it bears the name of St. Ignatius.”
Phase one of the Loyola Science Center includes a 150-seat lecture hall for symposia, a rooftop greenhouse and observation deck, laboratories, offices and study areas. Construction has begun already on phase two – the 50,000-square-foot renovation of the Harper McGinnis Wing of St. Thomas Hall, including a new entrance to the Loyola Science Center from the Commons. Phase two is to be completed in summer 2012, with a formal dedication to follow in the fall.
7 Reasons You Will Fall In Love With The Loyola Science Center
George Gomez, Ph.D. (pictured right), associate professor of biology and project shepherd, explains why he believes the University’s new Loyola Science Center will enhance our already rich history of science education.
1. Natural Light ... in Scranton!
As you can see, there is glass all around the building. If you stand at the end of any hallway in the building, you can actually get a view of the outside from three different directions. So even on a cloudy Scranton day, we will get ample natural light flooding in.
2. Science on Display
To highlight the idea of science as a human endeavor, we wanted all of our research and teaching laboratories to be highly visible to everyone. Therefore, teaching and research spaces are designed with large glass windows and walls. This allows our science to be very visible, and the openness should create an energy and a palpable excitement in the building.
3. A Neighborhood Concept
In the building, faculty offices and students are not necessarily arranged by department – they are centered around common interests and research approaches. For example, on the second floor, the Neuroscience neighborhood will house faculty from three different departments. This design promotes interdisciplinary learning and collaboration.
4. Student spaces
The building was constructed with multiple non-reserved spaces designed to be open and available to all types of student use. Outside the faculty offices, we built “tutorial spaces” where small groups of students can work with faculty members, or can wait for faculty in a comfortable environment. (*This one is Dr. Gomez’s personal favorite.)
5. Collisions ... of a Productive Type
When you walk through the building, there are multiple ways to get from point A to point B. So a daily trip from office to classroom to laboratory can take different forms every day. This flow of traffic allows one to encounter different people every day, which could lead to new and productive collaborations that will shape science education tomorrow.
6. Coffee, Coffee, Everywhere
The coffee shop and atrium seem to be a central design element for all modern buildings. While a coffee shop and social space may seem very “non-scientific,” this is quite the contrary. The best science is not done in the laboratory; rather, it is done while discussing ideas, theories or concepts over a meal or a cup of joe.
7. It’s Actually Designed for Science
The buildings that our science departments have been occupying to date were not designed as science buildings. This is the first building that was actually designed with science in mind. From the ventilation system, to the plumbing, to the water, to the room layouts, both faculty and the architects influenced all aspects of the design.
Quick Facts: Loyola Science Center
- Total Square Footage: Approximately 200,000
- Square Footage, Phase One: Approximately 150,000 (new construction)
- Square Footage, Phase Two: Approximately 50,000 (renovation)
- Expected Completion Date of Phase Two: Summer 2012
- “Green” Construction: Designed for Silver LEED certification
- Architect: Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture and Engineering P.C.
- Construction Manager: The Quandel Group Inc., Scranton
- Groundbreaking: May 14, 2009
- Expected Dedication Date: Fall 2012
- Academic Departments Housed in Center: Biology, Chemistry, Computing Sciences, Physics/Electrical Engineering & Mathematics
Mulberry Street Welcomes New Complex
West Building Named in Honor of 24th President
Scranton’s skyline continues to change with the addition of the University’s nearly 180,000-square-foot, two-building apartment and fitness complex, which opened this fall, in the 900 block of Mulberry Street. The complex provides new and expanded fitness space, a dining area and 400 apartment-style beds for juniors and seniors.
The 14,000-square-foot fitness center located on the ground floor is more than twice the size of the University’s previous fitness area and weight room combined. Plus, students will be able to eat at the dining facility or shop at the first-floor convenience store.
In May, the University’s Board of Trustees announced that the west building of the complex will be named Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., Hall in recognition of 24th president’s leadership and service to the Jesuit university. The complex’s east building has yet to be named. A dedication is planned for the fall.
Quick Facts: Apartment/Fitness Center Complex
- Location: Mulberry Street, between Monroe and Quincy Avenues
- Building Square Footage: Approximately 180,000
- Estimated Cost: More than $30 million
- Completion Date: Fall 2011
- Building Features
– Apartments for approximately
– 400 juniors and seniors
– 14,000-square-foot fitness center (more than twice the size of the University’s previous fitness area and weight room combined)
– Casual dining facility with indoor and outdoor seating on the first floor
– Student convenience store on the first floor
– Student lounges and other gathering spaces
– Two- and four-bedroom apartments sharing a common kitchen and living area