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Science Building/Union Renovation

About the Project

Among the major strategic initiatives included in the Strategic Plan For Muhlenberg are the following: (1) Strengthen the Natural Sciences; (2) Create an Academic Resource Center; (3) Establish a Center for Career and Pre-Professional Advising; and (4) Enhance and Augment Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular Life Through the Extension and Renovation of Seegers Union. All four initiatives are being addressed in planning and design efforts currently underway.

Planning for science facility improvements began during the summer of 2003 with faculty involvement coordinated by Professors Bruce Anderson, Richard Niesenbaum, and Provost Marjorie Hass. Among the improvements sought are (1) the establishment of teaching and research neighborhoods for faculty and students; (2) creation of new and expanded space conducive to interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts; (3) creation of an overall science division identity through design of shared spaces including classrooms, reading rooms, and gathering areas; (4) renovation of the Shankweiler Biology Building; (5) improved connectivity between the Shankweiler and Trumbower Buildings; (6) expansion space for chemistry; (7) future improvement of mathematics and physics offices space; and (8) creation of a science complex that is attractive to current and prospective science students.

Planning for Seegers Union improvements has been ongoing. Goals of the current project are as follows: (1) expand and improve space for Academic Support, Disability Services, and Career Development; (2) expand multi-purpose meeting space for College functions; and (3) plan for the current addition and renovation in a manner that will not pre-empt a future major expansion of food facilities.

An overall program goal for the combined projects is to improve the general area of campus west of Parents Plaza through creation of functional and attractive building relationships, improved walkways and outdoor gathering places, and creation of an improved Taylor Mall.

The first phase of the sciences improvements will be construction of a new 47,000 square foot structure containing laboratories, classrooms and offices that will adjoin the Shankweiler Biology Building. Work will begin in May 2005. Occupancy is anticipated by the fall of 2006. A second phase will immediately follow and will include renovation of the first two floors of Shankweiler along with a new stair/elevator tower and bridge connecting the upper two floors of the Shankweiler and Trumbower Science Buildings. Completion is expected in January of 2007. A third phase will begin the fall of 2006 and will include renovation of the two upper floors of Shankweiler. Completion expected in March of 2007.

Construction of a new 9,000 square foot two-level addition to Seegers Union will begin in June 2005. Included will be new meeting spaces on the main level and expanded academic services space on a lower level. Completion of this work is scheduled for January 2006. Renovation of existing academic services facilities on the lower level of Seegers Union will occur during the summer of 2006.