New Science Building Phase 2 was introduced to the EKU community on Friday, September 15, with a grand opening. According to an EKU news release, the building is the largest college science facility in the state.
The two phases combined cost over $130 million and total 333,000 square feet. Tom Otieno, dean of the college of science, said the facility adds needed space and houses all of EKU’s natural science departments under the same roof in the brief.
Otieno said New Science’s completion enhances EKU’s legitimacy as a school of science.
“Phase 2 expanded our ability to do quality research,” Otieno said.
The facility boasts more modern equipment, classrooms and research facilities that provide experience for students of natural science. Otieno said that Phase 2 provided more equipment “that is being used in the real world” for students. He said he was also glad to move departments away from Moore and Memorial Science Building and into a facility where utilities like air conditioning work properly.
Malcom Frisbie, professor of biological sciences, has overseen the planning of the project since its beginning in 2005. Frisbie said the construction was initially meant to be completed in “one go,” but his legislature decided to split the project in 2006. Funding was finalized for Phase 2 in 2014, totaling $64.9 million.
Among the goals of his legislature were a building that would house all sciences, reconfigurable rooms, and a facility that “people would want to be in,” even when not in class.
Associate professor of biological sciences David Brown said he was pleased with many of the changes.
State-of-the-art research facilities, new equipment, good climate control and plenty of labs were some of the advances that Brown mentioned under Phase 2. He said most of the new classrooms added were lab classrooms, which allow students to “interact more easily” as teams.
Micky Drake, senior chemistry major, said Phase 2’s completion added convenience and access to more high-quality classrooms.
“It’s convenient to have everything in one place,” Drake said of all natural science departments sharing the same facility.
The senior added that when she isn’t in class or lab, she’s often studying in one of the spaces that the building provides.
While Phase 2 offers a few extra “nooks”, Drake said the extra crowd the addition has garnered has made it more difficult to find study spots around the building.