Dedication of Loyola Science Center Redefines Learning Space at Scranton
The University of Scranton dedicated one of the most innovative science buildings in the country today at an afternoon ceremony in the lobby of the $85 million, nearly 200,000-square-foot Loyola Science Center. The center is the largest capital project in the history of the Jesuit university and the culmination of more than 15 years of planning and preparation.
In his remarks, University President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., said the cooperative support the project received from faculty, staff, administrators, trustees and donors “to invest in an academic building as it had never done before was not just compelling; it was imperative and infectious.”
Calling the result “magnificent,” Father Quinn said the Loyola Science Center will serve as “the academic heart of campus … a place of research, scholarship, teaching and discovery, a place to find God in all things.”
Project Shepherd of the Loyola Science Center George Gomez, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and neuroscience, referred to the new facility as “a drastic change in environment.”
“It is a structure that redefines the concept of a learning space, a structure that emphasizes human interactions as a critical part of education, a structure that unites the traditionally separate and disparate academic disciplines,” said Dr. Gomez. “This radical change in environment can bring forth new life. It is an exciting time in our University’s history.”
Built on the ideas of the Project Kaleidoscope, a program spearheaded by the National Science Foundation whose goal is to boost the quality of teaching and learning in the sciences, the Loyola Science Center features formal and informal learning spaces designed to promote discussion and debate.
The center’s layout provides a physical space that encourages integration among the traditional science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs, as well as the humanities, to drive the development of new teaching methods and engage students in practices that will prepare them for future challenges.
This facility also incorporates a dynamic, modern design that includes visible glass-walled laboratories, and is one of a kind in the way it advances collaboration among students with different interests.
University of Scranton student Geralyn Cross ’13 of Plains has already seen the center’s impact.
“The Loyola Science Center challenges the idea that the study of science is an independent venture,” said Cross, a double major in biology and philosophy and a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. “The layout of the building, with all of the study spaces and meeting spaces, lends itself to increased communication and collaboration among students and professors. The study nooks are bright, inviting, and you can write on all four walls.”
She also said the technology in the classrooms has enhanced the student’s learning experience and the setup of faculty offices “helps students engage with their professors.”
“The meeting space outside of the offices acts as a common ground between students and faculty where some students may feel more comfortable approaching professors with whom they’re not well acquainted,” said Cross.
Following the dedication, University students lead tours of the facility and participated in science demonstrations.
The center is designed to meet Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The dedication begins a semester-long series of events, entitled “Celebrating the Loyola Science Center: Science as a Human Endeavor,” which will give the campus and community an opportunity to experience the center firsthand.
For more information about the center and a schedule of events, visit scranton.edu/LSCcelebration.
Built on the ideas of the Project Kaleidoscope, a program spearheaded by the National Science Foundation whose goal is to boost the quality of teaching and learning in the sciences, the Loyola Science Center incorporates a dynamic, modern design that includes visible glass-walled laboratories and classrooms.