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Friday, 01 August 2014 11:02

Skidmore's $100M Science Center

By | News

College Raising Funds to Finance New Science Center

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs is fundraising for the construction of a $100 million science center at the heart of its campus.

The project, known as the Center for Integrated Sciences, is a mixture of new construction and renovation designed to co-locate all nine departments and programs  in the Physical and Life Sciences; including biology, chemistry, environmental science, geosciences, health and exercise sciences, mathematics and computer science, neuroscience, physics and psychology. Currently, these departments are housed in five different buildings across campus which presents challenges for those programs housed in different buildings.

Kimberly Frederick, chair and professor in the department of chemistry at Skidmore, says the CIS plans are a result of nearly a decade of thought and planning.

“The synergies that are going to happen when we can co-locate these facilities and departments and programs, is really going to cause, as President Glotzbach says, ‘spark an explosion of creativity,’” said Frederick.

More than 800 science majors, about 80 research students each summer, and every other student on campus will make use of the center. Frederick says the CIS will encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.

“The really important questions we face in today’s society aren't just a chemistry problem or a biology problem,” said Frederick. “They’re really at the interface. Things like global warming, healthcare, those things are at disciplinary interfaces. So we’re designing interdisciplinary clusters around shared passions, interests and facilities.”  

CIS will be the college’s largest project since its move to the new campus in the 1960’s and 70’s. The initial blueprints show the facility will be 200,000-square-feet – representing a 43 percent increase over the total science space around campus now. It will house 23 teaching and 46 research labs, 22 instrumentation rooms, 41 project and preparation spaces, five technology suites, 15 classrooms and meeting rooms, as well as social, display, and other public areas.

The private liberal arts school has collected close to $30 million so far to fund the project and is pursuing a variety of funding sources to raise the money for CIS.

School leaders hope to begin construction in the next year or two, after all funds are raised.  

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