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Whittier College celebrates grand opening of the Science & Learning Center

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Whittier College welcomed hundreds of members of the Poet community to dedicate the newly renovated Science & Learning Center (SLC).

President Sharon Herzberger was joined by a member of the Whittier City Council, senior staff, faculty, trustees, students, and more in cutting the ribbon on the building’s south side, which serves as a renewed gateway to the campus.

Whittier College President Sharon Herzberger speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Science & Learning Center.

“This project, the largest in our history, has been hoped for and anticipated for many years,” Herzberger said in a speech at the ribbon cutting on Sept. 23. “It took the creativity, imagination, extraordinary planning, excellent supervision, monumental generosity, and so many hours of fine craftsmanship and diligent work to bring us to this momentous occasion.”

The five-story building features laboratories for both teaching and research, including the Newsom Research Lab, the building’s largest oratory, and the Yao Yuan Sze Foundation Movement Laboratory, an innovative space where students explore the dynamics of physical movement. On the roof, the Suomi Lookout Deck offers breathtaking views of Los Angeles and the Whittier Hills, as well as a vantage point and home for astronomy students’ telescopes.

Glen Piner looks into a telescope on the roof of the Science & Learning Center.

The SLC is also filled with 15 general-purpose classrooms “that will be used by all constituencies on campus, not just science students,” said Professor of Physics Seamus Lagan. In fact, the building houses 80 percent of all instruction at the College.

The SLC’s adaptable spaces, from flexible classrooms and shared lounges to blended offices, encourage students and faculty from across disciplines to work together on challenging questions and complex problems.

“This goes right to the heart of what defines an exceptional liberal arts education: teaching students to see the world and its challenges and opportunities from multiple perspectives,” Herzberger said. “… Deep scientific literacy coupled with the breadth of our liberal arts education sets Whittier students apart in the job market and prepares them to make important contributions in this world.”

See more photos from the ribbon cutting ceremony in the gallery below.

Science & Learning Center Map

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The Science & Learning Center opened for classes on September 7, 2016. View a map of the building’s interior.

Map of the inside of the Science & Learning Center

Dawn Over the Science & Learning Center

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Watch the sun rise on the new Science & Learning Center. The building is set to open next month in time for Orientation.

The Transformation is Almost Complete

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Drag the slider side-to-side to see the Science and Learning Center’s nearly complete transformation!

May Construction Update

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The Science & Learning Center is in the homestretch and scheduled to make its debut on September 7. Student leaders recently toured the site and got a first glimpse of their future classrooms and unique features of the building.

Student leaders tour roof of Science and Learning CenterCabinet installation in Science and Learning Center Inside of Science and Learning Center classroom

Inside of Science and Learning Center classroom Student studies blueprints of Science and Learning Center John Best poses with student leaders on roof of Science and Learning Center Project Manager John Best points out building features to students

Science and Learning Center Project Receives Funding

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Construction of the Science and Learning Center (SLC) continues apace as the new building steadily takes shape. The SLC project—the largest capital project in the College’s 127-year history—involves a complete renovation of the primary academic building on campus. The renovated 89,000-square foot center will house seven academic departments and will be instrumental for the transformation of science education at the College. The SLC is slated to open in Fall 2016.

Moreover, the College has received significant grants from the U.S. Department of Education and private foundations to support the mission of the new SLC, which will foster cross-disciplinary research furthering collaboration and will provide enhanced learning opportunities for students.

The Department of Education’s Title V, Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program awarded a $2.6M grant—the largest Title V grant that the College has received—to enhance STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning and research.

The grant will be awarded for a period of five years and will significantly increase the graduation and retention rates of Latino and low-income students pursuing studies in the sciences “This grant will profoundly increase the College’s capacity for science learning and research by strengthening curriculum and career support for students and by providing state-of-the art equipment in our new Science and Learning Center,” said Whittier College President Sharon Herzberger.

The grant will also support the acquisition of equipment and supplies needed to provide optimal learning and research environments that enable students to reach their full potential. In addition, the College was recently awarded $800,000 from the Ahmanson Foundation, $500,000 from the Fletcher Jones Foundation and $500,000 from the Weingart Foundation in support of the SLC project. These three foundations have been longtime supporters of the College for both capital projects and programming.

September Construction Update

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SLC South Entrance

Construction on the south entrance of the Science & Learning Center continues apace this month, with work on the collaboration zones in the new “pop-out” areas of the building taking shape nicely.

Whittier celebrates groundbreaking for the renovation of its Science & Learning Center

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Science and Learning Center Project Remains on Schedule

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President Sharon Herzberger and Whittier College officials donned hard hats and toured the Science and Learning Center construction site for the first time since the project began. Project Manager John Best gave President Herzberger and the group an update on the project’s progress and confirmed that it remains on schedule.

Whittier Celebrates Groundbreaking for the Renovation of its Science and Learning Center

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On May 14, a groundbreaking ceremony took place on the College’s upper quad lawn to mark the start of construction of the renovation of the College’s new Science and Learning Center (SLC.)  Slated to reopen in the fall of 2016, the new SLC will have new laboratories, and classrooms to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration and flexible learning environments, the new building will create transformative opportunities for the entire Whittier College campus.