After breaking ground less than a year ago, the final steel beam has been put in place for North Central College’s brand new Science Center.
To commemorate the occasion, the college held a topping-off ceremony, where students, staff and community leaders were invited to sign the beam and celebrate the milestone.
“Now you can see what it’s going to look like, the scope of it. I think it rests beautifully in the neighborhood, which was one of the concerns, that it’s a big new building in an area with lots of classic houses in them, and yet I think it’s going to fit in very nicely,” said Bill Foster, Congressman for Illinois’ 11th Congressional District.
While many current students will graduate before the center is complete, they are still enthusiastic about what this new facility means for their college.
“This is really exciting for North Central because it’s honestly state of the art. They have a lot of plans for the Science Center, and it’s so central in campus that it’s not just limited to science majors, and I think that’s truly great,” said Amanda Rountree, a Junior at North Central College.
When it’s finished, the 125,000 square foot, $60 million building will have four floors with over 30 labs, 15 classrooms, a lecture hall, student gathering areas and faculty offices.
“This building will be the premiere multi-disciplinary science building in the Midwest. Not only will it house all of the traditional lab sciences like biology, chemistry, and physics, but also math, computer science, psychology and neuro-science,” said Troy Hammond, President of North Central College.
The building was intentionally designed to serve all students, embodying North Central’s liberal arts foundation.
“Our goal here is not just to turn out biologists or philosophers, it’s to have biologists who can sing and philosophers who can make sulfuric acid. And a place like the Science Center is what brings that together for everyone,” said Steve Hoeft, Chair of the North Central College Board of Trustees.
Officials hope the center, which is expected to be open for classes in March of next year, will draw more students to the college.
“A world-class city like Naperville deserves a world-class college, with world-class programs and world-class facilities and this new science center will take us one more giant step toward realizing that goal,” said President Hammond.
To make the building’s frame, construction crews used 778 tons of structural steel.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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