GU Debuts New Science Facility
Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 03:08
With fresh grass adorning a new lawn on one side and construction equipment making its final exit from the other, Regents Hall opened its doors to students and faculty for the first time Monday.
The six-story, $100 million science center contains research and teaching labs, classroom spaces, offices and student study areas and lounges.
The first two floors are dedicated to teaching and the fourth and fifth floors to research, while the third floor is split between research and teaching spaces. The unoccupied sixth floor contains the mechanical components for the building.
According to Ali Whitmer, senior associate dean for strategic planning and faculty development, teaching floors are separated based on subject — physics, chemistry and biology — while research floors are mixed to facilitate interdisciplinary research.
“That was a big goal of the building, to improve all of our facilities and provide better research and teaching facilities, but also to promote interdisciplinary research,” Whitmer said.
Colorful and comfortably furnished student lounges and study areas are also scattered on both classroom and research floors.
To allow late-hour student access, research wings contain GOCard entry doors that permit students to study in the lounge area but block research labs at night. The new design differs from Reiss, which only has general GOCard access and therefore cannot serve as a student study space, according to Whitmer.
There is a central mechanical core that allows for big, open labs with separate compartmentalized spaces and provides easier temperature and air control. This feature will also facilitate future lab alterations.
Regents Hall was designed to employ as many sustainable practices as possible, including automatic shut-off lights, renewable bamboo wood paneling, recycled glass white boards and a water-recycling cistern system.
Whitmer said that the university hopes the building will attain the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Standard, a decision that will be made in the fall after the facility is evaluated.