Construction of New Science Center Begins

August 15, 2012

As a response to regional needs in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math), a Center of Excellence for Research and Applied Sciences (Science Center) is now under construction at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.  

The 39,970 square foot facility will support two initiatives: research and teaching.  The new facility will support research on how the urban environment can impact the biology and culture of plants and animals as well as research in the fields of biotechnology, health-related discoveries, mathematic applications, and computer-based system development to support industries here in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Second, the new facility will support teaching, which falls under the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences where coursework will be offered as part of the University’s six existing majors (biology, marine biology, chemistry, general science, mathematics, and computer science).

“In order to compete for students in the higher education community, you need to have the right infrastructure to strengthen academic excellence and increase student success,” Cheyney University President Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital stated.  “The new Science Center will help the university reposition itself and attract more students, faculty and jobs to the region.  Our goal is that this facility will serve as a model for collaboration and creation of innovations that will support scholarship, research and the economy. The new Science Center is expected to have a positive impact on University recruitment initiatives.”

The facilities will include standard and advanced chemistry lab spaces; biology lab spaces; math and computer science classrooms; physics classrooms; seminar rooms; a computer lab; faculty offices and a conference room.  A special feature - a planetarium – will be located adjacent to the main lobby.  Additionally, the building will house a darkroom and cold storage. 

President Howard-Vital pointed out that Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is a part of the economic development engine of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  “This project will bring hundreds of jobs to the region,” Dr. Vital stated.  “We look forward to continuing to work with everyone to bring jobs to the region, as well as positively impacting student access and success.”

Located in the academic and research core of the campus, the Science Center is targeted to achieve U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver Certification. The building includes sustainability features such as day lighting; a demonstration green roof; rain water/gray water recycling; a bio-retention pond; a rain garden; highly efficient mechanical systems; and use of recycled and local materials. The building was designed by Cueto-Kearney Design LLC of Swarthmore, PA.  The estimated cost of construction is $17.2 million, not including design fees.