Campbell to create modern laboratories for science programs

Buies Creek, N.C.– Whether their scientific interest lies with studying organisms from local ponds or experimenting with the Kinetic Molecular Theory, students in environmental science and physics courses at Campbell University will soon be able to conduct scientific research in new laboratories.

Construction on the Natural Science Lab Building, located next to the ROTC complex, is scheduled for completion in May 2010.

The structure, which formerly housed university laundry services, will now contain four large labs – two for life science, such as environmental science, and two for physical sciences, including physics.

The need for more space arose following growth in the science department, according to Dr. Michael Wells, chair of the department of chemistry and physics.

“Our science programs have grown to the point we are running out of room,” said Wells. “Additionally, this provided us an opportunity to create four modern laboratories.”

The new physical science labs will double the amount of space for the program and will feature all new equipment; former lab space in the Leslie Campbell Science Hall will be used for upper level research programs.

The new site of environmental labs increases the convenience factor by relocating them from the astronomy building at Keith Hills Country Club, though the former building will still be used by the Pro-Golf Management Program and for some labs.

Dr. Michael Larsen, chair of the Biology department, is elated about the opportunities the addition will provide students, including non-majors who must take lower-level science courses to meet general college curriculum requirements.

“We’ve more than doubled our research capacity,” said Larsen. “We now have a state-of-the-art facility and can improve the experience for students with more capabilities.”

In addition to increasing space and resources, Larsen notes the stewardship exemplified by renovating an existing structure as opposed to constructing a new one.

“It’s a good utilization – we have new facilities, but managed to reduce the cost to the University in the process,” he said.

Plans for the Natural Science Lab Building also include offices and a light corridor, increasing the flow of natural light, reducing electrical costs and providing faculty and students with a place to congregate.

Physics labs will be held in the facility over the summer; environmental labs are tentatively set to begin in the fall.

Photo Copy: Illustration of new science laboratories.

Written by Chelsea Wilde, student writer