MCLA's Center for Science and Innovation took an important step forward recently with the selection of a site for the new facility. The Center will be built on Blackinton Street, between the Office of Admission and Montana Street.
The College will celebrate the site selection on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend this event, which will be held at the Blackinton Street location.
A $54.5 million project, this Center represents an extraordinary investment in public higher education in Berkshire County. It is a vital economic development investment for Massachusetts.
Nationally, there are extremely high demands for educated workers in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology, engineering and health care. The Center for Science and Innovation will serve as a central location for all of MCLA's science and related programs and will promote research-intensive science learning and hands-on discovery.
The Center also will serve as a community resource and will contribute to a robust pipeline of talent, helping Massachusetts to remain a world leader in scientific innovation and research in the life sciences.
According to MCLA President Mary K. Grant, the College is thrilled to take the next step toward this new building and the educational economic benefits that it will provide to the city and the communities that surround it.
"We look forward to officially celebrating the site selection," said Grant. "This project is important to the College, the City of North Adams and the region. The Center for Science and Innovation will be a state-of-the-art facility that fosters collaboration, allows for new ways of engaging students.
"Thanks to the support of Governor Patrick, Lt. Governor Murray, along with members of Berkshire County delegation, members of the legislation, and many more, MCLA and Berkshire County will play a major role in the future of science education and innovation in the Commonwealth," she said.
Plans for the Center call for at least 28,000 square feet to house the College's biology, chemistry, environmental studies, physics and psychology departments. The facility will include wet and dry labs, classrooms, conference rooms, and a resource library to serve as a community resource for local K-12 teachers.
As more and more students prepare to enter the STEM fields, "Not only will modern laboratories enhance the learning of our science majors here at MCLA, the non-science majors will also benefit as they are required to take at least one laboratory science," said Dr. Robert Harris III, MCLA chemistry professor (pictured at top of story, center). "This building will impact all of our students, no matter what program of study they undertake."