Science building groundbreaking at Columbia College is May 3

Building plan
The future of science at Columbia College starts May 3 at noon on the site of the former Cougar softball field on Rangeline Street.

Dr. Gerald Brouder, president, Dr. Terry Smith, executive vice president and dean for Academic Affairs, Mike Randerson, vice president for Adult Higher Education, senior leadership, faculty, staff, students, trustees and distinguished guests will be present for the groundbreaking of a dedicated new science building.

The new building is expected to open by the beginning of the 2013 Fall Semester.

Brouder said this will be a proud day in his 17-year presidency. "I take great pride in the rich history of Christian and now Columbia College because of the college's reputation as an innovator in higher education," Brouder said. "And this vision includes not only a new state-of-the-art science building but also the establishment of the college as a key part of science education and the research corridor in Columbia, the state of Missouri and truly throughout the entire Midwest."

The building, first envisioned nearly a decade ago, will unify all the college’s science-related programs under one roof — biology, chemistry, forensic and environmental science, nursing.  Currently, these programs are scattered throughout buildings on the college’s central 30-acre campus. The Nursing Program currently resides in Federal Hall in downtown Columbia.

The new, two-story, 53,000-square-foot science building will rectify that imbalance. For the first time, every science and nursing faculty member will be in one location to better interact and collaborate with students and each other, and students will no longer need to leave campus to work on such essential equipment as a mass spectrometer. The Nursing Program will have a patient simulation room, crucial to modern nursing education; the forensic science program will be able to reproduce crime scenes in a dedicated space, not impromptu in multi-purpose classrooms. Modern safety equipment will be incorporated throughout each laboratory.

Many science classes are currently taught in Robnett-Spence Hall, which opened as an infirmary in 1969. This building is not only too cramped but simply cannot support the infrastructure of modern science teaching.

The new building’s simple, elegant design also will unify the architecture of the adjacent buildings. And corridors will radiate from a central area either north along the laboratory wing containing general biology, chemistry and anatomy and physiology or west into the faculty office area. At the ends of corridors will be nooks and spaces where students can meet and study.

Science building fast facts

  •     53,033 square feet
  •     Exterior is limestone and brick masonry
  •     126-seat auditorium
  •     Five general laboratories: two biology, one chemistry, one physical science and one anatomy/physiology
  •     Eight advanced laboratories: nursing, forensics, three advanced biology and three advanced chemistry
  •     Five additional classrooms, including one dedicated to forensic science
  •     Eighteen faculty office spaces, including offices for the lab manager and assistant lab manager

The college’s senior leadership, eminent trustees and alumni have donated more than $3 million for the college’s science initiative, of which the new building is the centerpiece. But students are increasingly doing their part, too: an honors communication class recently decided to make fund-raising their class project, and created an online science building donation page on the college’s dedicated donation site,

Access a live webcam to see construction progress at

For the architect’s schematics of the building, visit


Gilbert said...

Sounds and looks exciting!

Anonymous said...

No psychology lab?