Denison University announces renovation and expansion of chemistry labs
Date of Event: April 29, 2010
Posted: April 29, 2010
Denison University has announced the start of a new building project on campus. The renovation and expansion of its Ebaugh Laboratories, which are home to Denison’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, began this month. The 17-month project involves both a major addition (19,252 square feet) and an exhaustive renovation of the existing L-shaped building, resulting in a finished structure totaling 51,675 square feet. In accordance with Denison’s commitment to sustainable architecture and construction, Denison will seek LEED certification for this project, a nationally accepted benchmark of environmental construction from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“Denison actively invests in the liberal arts and sciences, building top-tier facilities and creating one of the finest learning environments in the country,” said Dale Knobel, president of Denison University. “Ebaugh Laboratories serve not only chemistry and biochemistry majors, but also students in many different fields for which chemistry is a building block. The renewed and expanded Ebaugh Labs will provide state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and learning 21st century chemistry and biochemistry. It will match what we have been able to achieve in recent years with Talbot Hall for biology and with Olin Hall for physics, astronomy, geosciences, mathematics, and computer science.”
Ebaugh Labs, which were built in 1966, are currently housed within a 32,000-square-foot, three-story building with nine full-time faculty members, three classrooms and four teaching labs.
The new structure will occupy a space adjacent to the building’s existing wings, resulting in a rectangular structure with four classrooms of varying size, six teaching laboratories, research lab space for 10 faculty, and instrumentation rooms on each floor. There also will be study and social spaces for students, a central atrium, and faculty and staff offices.
To allow the building to meet the needs of today’s teaching, learning, and research, and also to grow with future changes in chemistry pedagogy, many spaces within Ebaugh will be modular, allowing a conventional teaching lab to be reconfigured within minutes for group projects. Dedicated lab spaces will accommodate joint faculty and student research as part of Denison’s noted Summer Scholars program, departmental honors projects, and students’ preparation for post-graduate pursuits. About 60 percent of Denison’s chemistry and biochemistry majors go on to earn graduate degrees at major research universities around the nation and the world.
The new facilities are designed to advance Denison’s “hands-on,” experiential teaching and learning, where collaboration is a key element. Students work together, and they work closely with faculty members. They also work across disciplines, with biologists, chemists and physicists, for example, conducting collaborative research.
“We are particularly excited about the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of the teaching, research and instrument spaces in the new building,” said Sonya McKay, associate professor of chemistry and project “shepherd” for the renovation. “They are excellent models for the pursuit of scientific knowledge both on campus and beyond.”
The firm of JBA Architects of Newark, Ohio, is providing architectural services for the project, with technical assistance being supplied by laboratory consultant Research Facilities Design of San Diego, Calif. In designing the space, architects and engineers have worked directly with Denison’s faculty and the facilities staff to create a building that is not only cutting edge and fiscally responsible, but also will serve Denison students and faculty well into the future.
Generous support for the new Ebaugh Laboratories has been provided by J. Landis and Sharon Smith Martin, Denison class of 1965 and member of the Denison Board of Trustees; the Estate of Donald Kincaid, class of 1930; other alumni and friends of Denison University; and foundation funding.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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