As the new school year begins at Bridgewater State University, students and faculty in the public college’s School of Mathematics and Science are being energized by a partially completed $98.7 million Science and Mathematics Center located on the west side of the campus.
Wednesday afternoon, Bridgewater President Dana Mohler-Faria called the new 211,000 square foot building, “the crest of a wave” that includes nearly a third of a billion dollars in campus construction over the past decade.
Doctor Mohler-Faria, who has been with the University for more than 20 years, and 10 years as the President, spoke to a roundtable of reporters on the campus and said the university made their case to state leaders, as they pushed for the capital funding for the 7 story facility.
“It’s something we desperately needed,” said Mohler Faria. “This commonwealth, was, at the time this got funded, very interested in science and math understanding that it was a foundation for the economy in Massachusetts”.
“I think there was just hard, on the ground political work, to really kind of make this happen lobbying wherever we could, spending a lot of time with the administration, legislators and convincing people it was the right thing to do,” said the president. “We were successful.”
The building is now partially complete and college officials from the top down say its state of the art, with teaching and specialty labs.
Students and staff say this building has all the bells and whistles, with its focal points on the life sciences, including bio-technology, chemistry and astrology – complete with a rooftop observatory.
It will be another year before the entire project is complete as the old science building is gutted and taken down by the end of October with construction of the remainder of the facility on the same footprint.
A grand opening celebration is in the works for next fall.
WATD-FM Reporter Steven Dodrill can be reached at SDodrill@959watd.com
A tour of the Bridgewater State University Science and Mathematic facility
Members of the media were given a tour on Wednesday of a new Science and Mathematics building at Bridgewater State University
The first floor is made of classrooms and an auditorium which seats 50.
Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics Dr. Arthur Goldstein says this is the largest classroom university-wide. Goldstein says the university prides itself on student retention and credits the retention to smaller class sizes.
The highlights of the second floor includes sweeping greenhouse and garden views as well as open space for students, something university officials say is open to the entire campus.
The third floor is the home to the biology department, the largest major in the science department. The floor is equipped with spacious classrooms and teaching labs and specialized equipment.
The fourth floor is where the university chemistry research areas and classrooms are located.
The fifth floor, and the final stop on the two-hour tour, included the university observatory, which will be open to the public sometime in September, according to Professor and Physics Chair Marina Arndt.